Hedging the Potager

[vc_row][vc_column][postgallery_grid id=”grid_20171121_1″ data_source=”data-4″ null=”” slidesetid=”SS_G5_20171121_1″ content_type=”image” columns=”5″ height=”200px” align=”aligncenter” lightbox=”yes”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Our hedging plants arrived. These are to go around the potager and this plus an internal ‘grillage’ (a wire fence a bit like sheep-link fencing) will keep out animals and the chickens, once we have let them roam free. The potager will change as Margie thinks there are not enough potatoes, leeks and onions; so Liz plans to add another strip to make it larger. It will be completely enclosed by hedging and fencing and the first two sides can be completed now. The mixed English hedge  will be made up of blackthorn, hawthorn, bird cherry, spindle berry, crab apple and dog rose, it will go round the east and south sides – the potager plan is here if you want to see more. It took quite a few days, probably six all together: we prepared the ground , marking out and digging a trench around the two sides then measuring and marking each metre – another good use for our everlasting bamboo supply – after this we could start planting. Liz put in the hedge plants whilst Margie followed behind planting bulbs in front of it, she put in Carbineer narcissi and dutch iris van vliet hollandica.  We are really pleased with the result and can’t wait for spring to see it all bloom and green up.

Next we cleared the bank of this field, you can see from the photos how overgrown with brambles it was in the summer, clearing it has made quite a difference. This is the west field that will eventually become the flower garden, potager and orchard, we will also make a woodland corner and a parking area with a new entrance and private drive. The bank will eventually have a hedge to delineate the property from the road. We are populating this hedge with the remaining plants left over from the potager hedging, and also other self-seeded wild bushes and trees that were already there or that we can transplant from elsewhere. It’s all starting to look like someone really means it, and cares about the place.

The final bit of garden housekeeping we needed to do before the end of the year was in the bottom corner that borders the stream and the water treatment station behind the cemetery. This triangle was covered in brambles, false elder and goodness knows what. We had to clear it to discover what was underneath, and what was underneath was a lot of fallen trees and rotten branches all entangled with the gigantic brambles. It took two days to cut down the undergrowth and we now understand the shape of the river bank. All the old tree trunks have been removed bar a couple left for the insects; we have tried to clear all the brambles because, whilst a good habitat for all sorts of wildlife they were so rampant we couldn’t tell what was happening with the riverbank which is quite important for us to manage – there are plenty of brambles elsewhere so the wildlife will adapt. We are quite surprised how large this triangular patch of ground is now it’s cleared ; we have planted it with some alder and rowan, and underneath there are snow drops and narcissi. The weather is now mostly dry sometimes a little grey, but often bright and when the sun comes out the sky is an astonishing blue; with the hill to the south this ‘field’ is quite overshadowed during the day now, but we have found that at this time of year our newly cleared corner is a perfect suntrap.

At the moment we can only do garden activities as we are waiting for the new house plans. It all seems to take ages. Since the house is supposed to have work starting soon, although now it looks unlikely this year; and, since it is quite draughty and inefficient our friends have asked us to house-sit their place up the road whilst they are away for a few months. The house is warm , no draughts, and gallons of hot water, which is perfect after a long day outside or packing boxes in the barn. We are looking after their two cats; ours have come with us and have quickly made themselves at home and whilst not great friends they are all getting on well. This has turned out to be a brilliant idea giving us a warm, dry home whilst packing up all our belongings and for our friends as their cats can remain at home and the house is looked after.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][postgallery_grid id=”grid_20171121″ data_source=”data-4″ null=”” slidesetid=”SS_G4_20171121″ content_type=”image” columns=”4″ height=”200px” align=”aligncenter” lightbox=”yes”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator color=”custom” accent_color=”#deead0″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Perhaps you would like to know…
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