No, not Adele, (my sad attempt at being topical) it’s me, Miss Trug. You might have forgotten I was here. Apparently blogging takes greater commitment than I bargained for. It is hard to fit in what is meant to be a ‘passion’, to the hurly-burly of day to day life. Mainly my day job just gets in the way. Infact, Mr T would say it is a day and night job due to me needing to bring it all home each night. It’s a chore.
Well, that plus me trying to negotiate the challenges of using wordpress after it deleted a post, then also the rewritten post. Grrrr! I abandoned the whole thing at that point.
But now I am back, thanks to a delightful dose of Shingles that has parked me on the sofa this week. Despite all the unpleasantness of that I have had some quiet time to saturate myself in all things gardeny via t’internet and my books and the motivation came to put my thoughts down.
Lots has occurred in the world of Trug Towers. Mainly not pretty stuff to be honest. A lot of hacking, digging and destroying which doesn’t sound very positive at all but is, however, a necessity to begin the improvements.
Generally, the story would go like this:
Hmmm, lots of Ivy here. Let’s pull some out.
Hmmm, more even thicker Ivy. Lets dig this out.
Oh, hello, what’s this? An abandoned large tree stump hacked off and left to be consumed by Ivy, fungus and the entire slug population of East Sussex. (Mr Trug duly summoned to add stump removal to the list of stump removals).
You get the idea.
We’ve opened up a fair bit of garden by doing this and discovered some pretty grim tree/shrub management along the way. As you can see in the photo above, there are old coppiced Hazels but they have been coppiced very badly. None have been cut to the base to create the stool needed for the plant to regenerate healthily but hacked off at about waist height leaving some sections to die off and others to sprout far too high up. Such a shame as some of them are quite a size and must date back many decades. I am hoping that this season we can do a better job and coppice them correctly. It will be worth a try at least and if they refuse to regrow then we will give in and remove them. (Add a few more to Mr T’s stump removal list, he’ll be thrilled).
This particular section of garden slopes away in to Witchy Hawthorn Woods and while I was digging out all the endless Ivy discovered the previous owners tried to tackle the soil dropping away using a variety of methods. Bricks, lots of bricks, broken terracotta pots, livestock wore fencing (part buried) more terracotta pots, plastic sacks and clinker (I believe the owner dabbled in pottery making and had a kiln). It all had to come out as far as I was concerned but not all was thrown. The old bricks are perfect for path repairs and I collected a large box of the terracotta to use for pots and general this and that around the garden. It was then over to Mr T to go wild with the chain saw to cut back the Hawthorn’s that were encroaching Triffid-like on to our garden. This has brought in huge amounts of light which will do the greenhouse directly next to it no end of good.
This done we then needed to tackle the old beech hedge that ran from this section along the path and field to the corner of the flower garden. Our intention was to remove, yes, you guessed it, all the ivy that was strangling it and encourage the hedge back in to a healthy state.
Here it is mid summer. It looked really promising. Unfortunately once the ivy was tripped out it looked like this.
Oh the horror! Not a great outcome really is it. Everything is just so overcome by the endless ivy that once it has gone the plant is nothing more than just hanging on for dear life. Upset though I was, it had to go and the whole remaining hedge was taken out. That gone the garden was free to slip away down to tree growing level so a new plan had to be agreed for fixing the boundary. In one sense this isn’t a bad outcome as a new hedge will be far healthier. You can just about see the barbed wire fence of the field owners which stops where the Hawthorn thicket became impenetrable. This means we can level off this section of the garden, put in some post and rail fencing and then line with a new Beech hedge. It will take some time but be worth it. I love those autumn colours.
(Photo of current hedge-less state in it’s way)
The soil we’ve dug out here is amazing though. I am guessing it is years of the Hawthorn shedding leaves which has decomposed to make a lovely mulchy soil. It’s almost too good to leave there and I might have to wheel barrow a few loads out and spread it about the garden to help break up the heavy soil.
Next job then is to source some post and rail fencing.