Tag Archives: hedge

Getting Better

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This isn’t the post I said I was going to write, you’ll have to wait for that. This is the post that covers what I did today after posting the previous post and making breakfast.

We had people in on Monday to dismantle the sheds and associated ivy/brambles/honeysuckle at the back of the garden. It has been a great aid to security, privacy and wildlife over the last thirty years, including highlights such as the fox cubs and breeding blackcaps. There’s never a year goes by without at least one nest in it and this year it is great tits. It’s difficult getting anyone at the moment as everyone wants work doing after lockdown and it’s two or three weeks before they can get back to finish off. This fits in well with the great tit family which should be fledged and away by the time we destroy their habitat.

When it’s all done I’m going to plant a mixed hawthorn and blackthorn hedge, which should provide a good habitat over the coming years.

For the moment it’s left a bit of  a hole in the fence and though we’ve plugged it, it isn’t very elegant. As the house is home to a curious beagle I was going to make a better job of it today, so after breakfast I set off. I’ve just been told to increase my dose of Methatrexate to the maximum level. It seems to be working as I have use of my hands and my feet are a lot better too. However, it does mean that I worry about the effect of suppressing my immune system.

When I got to my first call in search of stout stakes and chicken wire I was presented with a queue of people which was positively festering in a shopping centre with the micro-climate of a tropical butterfly house. To be honest, it’s just the atmosphere a virus needs to spread, so I left.

The next shop I tried had a longish queue and I tried two builder’s merchants too. The queue at one of them contained more people than I’d ever seen in the shop before (I used to be in regularly when I was a jobbing gardener and it rarely had more than six people in. There were 18 in the queue. All these queues were outdoors, but after my activity on Monday when we took the shed down my knee is still a bit tender and doesn’t respond well to a lot of standing.

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Water Lily

Before returning home I went to Aldi where the usual bunch of idiots managed to get into my social exclusion zone, including one of the managers who entered via the exit as I was leaving and was so close I could feel their slipstream. I bought ripe avocados, which were made an excellent lunch.

After that I emailed the lady behind us to say I’d be a day or two later than planned with the fence, clipped the front hedge (I said my hands were better – I couldn’t have done this two weeks ago) and dead headed the poppies.

I tried to order the posts and wire I wanted online but, just like a supermarket, they take the order and then, as you pay, tell you that two items are out of stock. I was only ordering three items, so I wasn’t impressed.

I had to take Julia to hospital for a scan as a follow-up to the pre-lockdown episode and, when I returned there were two emails and a brown envelope for me (marked as being from the Tax Office).

The news is that the lady behind us has offered to do the patching of the fence, which will save me a lot of hassle because I’m working Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They could find no immediate fault with Julia, though they may find fault later after properly examining the results. The Tax Office want to give me £16 back, as I have over-paid.

This is all good, and a welcome lifting of the gloom that has been gathering around me over the last few months.

The second email was from a local literacy project (I emailed them last night to make sure I actually volunteered  instead of just intending to volunteer, as I so often do). They  aren’t doing much at the moment, but will be in touch when they are ready for more interviews and training.

Then, just to settle myself down after all this happiness, I spent an hour on the computer arranging tomorrow’s grocery delivery. This is an improvement on last week when I actually forgot to do it. Fortunately we had plenty in to last an extra week.

Only a few repeated photos, I have no new photos to share.

The Dogwood Fedge

We used to have a willow fedge on the farm, which was quite useful. They make good windbreaks, are sustainable and don’t take a lot of skill – just some thought and a bit of hard work.

I hadn’t thought of the word “fedge” for several years but it came back to me this week. So did “pressure graft”. It means the bits of branch pushing against each other an eventually joining up.

I’m not sure we need a new word to describe them fence or hedge would do the job without being mashed together in a new word.

When we went to Harlow Carr we saw a development we hadn’t seen before – a woven dogwood fence. Or hedge. Actually, I suppose there is a use for fedge now I think about it – it does save the effort of making a decision over use of the word hedge or fence.

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Dogwood Fedge at Harlow Carr

It’s an interesting decorative border, I’ll take more photos as the year moves on. They willow ones get quite leafy – I’m intrigued to see how the dogwood version does.

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Dogwood Fedge at Harlow Carr – rhubarb forcing pots in the background

The Post I Meant to Write…

Just before I opened my email from the Royal Agricultural Society, this is the post I meant to write. The last post was merely a Jacobin rant, this one is about nature. It’s better for me than politics.

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A model of me in the garden

There’s not much to say as it’s late and the pictures can do the talking.

The pop-bottle poppies are still looking good after two years – Julia was going to take them down last year but everyone asked for them to stay up.

This is the “hedge” between the Mencap plot and the school plot. It’s willow clippings with ivy planted to grow through it.

And finally – some birds. There would have been more but a sparrowhawk swooped by and scared them all away.

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Great tits on feeder – Nottingham

The District Nurse

I got up around 8.00 today, which is late but not unforgivably so for an idle town dweller with nothing much to do. It gave me plenty of time to wrestle with plumbing, socks and trousers and do a spot of gardening before breakfast.

It was sort of gardening anyway, going over the joints of the paving stones with a flame gun. It’s far better than weedkiller and easier than hand weeding. The hedge looks like it needs a tidy, which reminded me I was planning some drastic pruning. If I get it cut back in the next two days I can get all the waste in the garden bin ready for the first collection of the year on Friday. Privet really isn’t good for compost.

This time next year I’m hoping to have a new permaculture based front garden. I was hoping to start this year but I haven’t felt up to doing much so far.

Granary toast for breakfast and some uplifting reading on WordPress, including this, this and this. I usually drop in here and here too, but I’m working slowly today. Apologies to those not mentioned, I’m just finding it harder to get round these days.

It was time for a walk then, as I’m trying to get more air and exercise. With a bad leg (not sure what is causing it, but sitting down all day isn’t helping) I’m struggling to do more than a few hundred yards, but that was just right to get back in time for the district nurse.

She provided me with a few bags and the phone number to get more plus help and advice. She also took blood pressure, heart rate and temperature readings with equipment that looked decidedly old-fashioned compared to the kit in hospital. All is as it should be. Finally she accepted that I was able to monitor my own bottom for signs of pressure sores, which was good. I’m a man, not a baboon, and such display is, frankly, neither necessary nor welcome.

By then it was time for lunch, shopping and a drive home.

I’m feeling tired now. Well, I’m convalescing so it’s allowed.

A good time for quiz shows and blogging, I feel.

A Pun for Punks

We saw this nicely laid hedge while we were at Carsington Water, I’d been looking for a good example for a couple of weeks because I wanted to use the “Punk” setting on the camera. Here it is.

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Punk Hedge

I thought a nice punky picture of a laid hedge would be a good chance for a pun, as in Never Mind the Billhooks.

For those of you unfamiliar with hedge laying tools and punk rock here are the links. This probably indicates that it’s not really strong enough as a pun, but it’s a slow day.