Sunday, 12 June 2011

Hedgetrimmer out, Secateurs in

Up until recently, the weather has been somewhat drought like. Although the start to the year has seen grass AND hedges growing together at an incredible rate, the lack of water has meant that I did finally reach a stage last week when everything was just about under contol.

It's a lovely point in the year for me, as it means that I can relax a little (but not too much), and get the secateurs out in earnest to do some hand trimming and pruning without the need for screaming machinery and ear mufflers. Although most laurel hedges are so large and formal that they have to be trimmed with a hedgetrimmer, there are still some large backing hedges that I choose to keep trimmed in the old fashioned way, even though it can take a couple of days, instead of a couple of hours. The trouble with using a trimmer on glossy, broad leaved shrubs such as laurel, is that when a leaf is sliced in half, the cut edge can, and nearly always does, turn brown. As you can imagine, over the length of a hundred metre hedge this can look quite untidy even if the hedge looks nicely trimmed, but such is in this day and age that sometimes needs must and all that. The best way if one has patience is to choose a dry and quiet day, and nip back all of the undesired growth at the stem, resulting in a glossier finish, if a little looser.

I have to look after numerous, very large Fatsia japonica as well, and love cleaning these up each year. Yellow leaves can easily be snapped off at the stem, and the wood is crisp and easy to cut when a wayward bit of growth needs to be checked. In the picture below, I am on my stomach and just starting work on this one which is about 20ft across and 15ft it!

If you haven't done so already, then now is a good time to prune back, hard if necessary, those Mahonias that have become a bit too leggy as well.

We had planned over this weekend to get onto the allotment and try to start work in earnest...yet again! We managed to get down there briefly yesterday to assess what else needed to be done, and came to the conclusion that too much was the answer at that point. We did discover however that the roses left behind by the previous allotmenteer included two rather lovely Gallicas with gorgeous scent. And also that the apple tree is in fact a cherry tree, now laiden with very sweet, slightly crisp bright red fruits......chuffed about that one! Today is Sunday, and rather stupidly we hadn't checked the weather and had planned to clear the allotment once and for all in the morning, before taking ourselves off to the Wimborne Folk Festival for the afternoon, and imbibing in a little of the local ale whilst wishing to be a border morris dancer. However, the day started with strong winds and heavy rain, and has continued throughout, and so we took ourselves down to the Haven Ferry, bought a couple of newspapers, teas and egg baps, and watched the water churning in the wind. what with the wind and rain, and the gentle rocking of the van, it wasn't long before we both dozed off like the babes in the wood.

We are now back at home, Misty asleep on the bed upstairs, and Hobie curled up on his chair in the lounge. Endless cups of tea have been drunk, too many slices of peanut butter on toast have been eaten, and so time to go and get something to cook for dinner and a couple of cold beers at Sohos. Don't you just love lazy rainy Sundays? Hope it's dryer tomorrow for work though. TTFN

1 comment:

  1. It's been nothing but rain here for much of May and June, so no, I don't love lazy rainy Sundays at the moment! So much work at the plot and in the garden still to do, and growth very slow because of the cold.
    Lucky you to inherit those roses and a cherry tree at your allotment. We got some parsnips and a huge weed heap!