Monday, 16 June 2008

Secret Garden no more

Another busy Saturday. The Secret Garden got its name because we had to fight our way into it when we arrived at Bag End and it was virtually invisible from outside. Husband wanted to clear out the huge and overgrown Cotoneaster and other plants, left to my own devices I would have trimmed and pruned but he was felt that severe coppicing would, in the long run, be more effective.

From outside the garden this is how it looked in the morning.

And from inside:

Four hours and three chainsaw re-fuellings later it looks like this:

And I have to confess that husband is right, everything will regrow and be much better for it. Now we have room to start moving soil around to create some level areas and get the soil away from the bottom of the wall. Mid-way through the forestry operations we had a chat with a chap from the church next door who tells us that our work to clear up the garden has been noticed and is much appreciated (he didn't say by whom [giggle]). We didn't tell him that one of Husband's main motivations for all this work was so that we could see the huge Copper Beech that dominates the nearest corner of the churchyard!

We found two Lilac which I know will regrow; one at the other end of the garden that was cut back to nothing in March is already 3 feet tall. We have coppiced two tree-sized Hawthorn and trimmed a large and previously hidden Holly tree. Husband wants the Acer/Sycamore out but the wood is far too dense and heavy for us to fell it, that's one for John Lowe later in the year.

So my Secret Garden is now not-so-secret but it does look heaps better and is full of dappled sunlight. It has also been rechristened, we found ourselves calling it The Coppice. Another bonus is that we can now hear the Silver Birch moving about as the leaves have room to sway in the breeze.

The hastily positioned compost bins are likely to get moved and we want to plant more woodland trees/shrubs that will suit the natural feel of the area. Given the dappled shade it would be fantastic if I could get bluebells to grow here.

We also found this hollowed out tree stump, Canine One is sure we have created this interesting hole just for him!

For my reference, pictures of severely coppiced plants:


Cotoneaster (with a small Rowan that seems to have self-seeded)


Much tidier Holly with a smaller hawthorn and another lilac


  1. Make sure they are English bluebells Bilbo (though I'm sure you will!) I have the unenviable task of digging out all the Spanish Bluebells some enthusiastic person planted at the entrance to the village last year. When I asked at the time were they English she assured me they were. I have since found out she knows NOTHING about gardening! However, she is a committee member of our Britain in Bloom group and we need everyone we can get. She's also been a member longer than I have. Tact and diplomacy were stretched taut at the last meeting!

    Garden looking VERY good at Bag end by the way. The extra light will do everything so much good. The Copper Beech in the churchyard - ah yes, 'borrowed landscape', I think it's called!

  2. Another mammoth session by the looks of things, you certainly are making the place your own! You'll be very glad in years to come that you've put so much work into the infrastructure.


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