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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

A bubble bath with my name on it

The last two days have been a bit manic.

The weather is fabulous - dry, sunny, not too cold, and Spring is approaching with the usual speed of an out-of-control Hogwarts locomotive.  I think I say that every year, so why am I always surprised when all of a sudden the garden announces it is no longer mid-winter?

Since Saturday our ponds have been the sites of frenetic orgies of the Rana temporaria kind, which will get a post all of it's own. More than two weeks earlier than last year at one point I counted nearly 100 frogs in the Big Pond alone.



I am determined to get around the perimiter of the garden and sort out the hedges and having started on the laurel which fronts the cottage garden, it was time for the big hedge the other side of our drive.    50 hawthorn whips were planted in July 2011 (wonderful - no way I would be able to recall that without the Blog archive 🙂 ) but have had minimal attention since.

We removed the windbreak netting in March 2016 so I had access to the hedge - it was scheduled for "laying" and was already five or six feet tall but for reasons which are already lost to the mists of time, that's another job which did not happen.







The job was on the agenda for LP before he left last year, but of course it didn't happen.  So Management and I set to and have had two long and exhausting days but it's done.



I don't think my effort would win any prizes and doesn't follow a proper regional style, but I'm not trying to keep cattle in, just create a dense boundary that will not only look nice but filter the wind and provide all sorts of interesting habitats for our wildlife.













In places, cutting away surplus tangled growth to find one leader to splice and lay was a mite tricky . . .



Thanks to my very old and tattered waxed coat and the height of sartorial elegance - the chainsaw helmet - most of my body has been remarkably damage free, but hawthorn thorns are the nastiest, most painful, sharpest little sods in the garden and my hands have taken a beating.  I tried chainsaw gloves, thick leather ski gloves and eventually an old pair of Management's motorbike gloves but still got stabbed and damaged on countless occasions.🚑


Management was an absolute HERO.  Whilst I stayed on the top of the wall fighting with rampant growth that would have taken my eye out if it had the chance, he picked up all the debris and shredded every last bit.  He said on Tuesday night that he felt he'd not done much and that I had taken on most of the work.  B*ll*cks darling.  Picking up hawthorn and shredding it is at least two-thirds of the job.  Thank you, sweetie  💕



I'll give the hedge a good feed in a couple of weeks, once the forecast mini Ice Age has been and gone, and then it is just fingers crossed that we have a good growing season this year.



It will come as no surprise that at the end of the afternoon there was a deep bubble bath with my name on it.  Before bed there will be a couple of ibuprofen similarly labelled!







16 comments:

  1. Hard job, bet your glad it's done, your lovely bath was your reward for such a good job. Hope today is more restful, we have Will, so loads of playtime

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    1. Cheers Marlene, yes I plan for today to be far more relaxed!

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  2. A job well done. The weather has been glorious this week but I'm bracing myself for the Winter blast still to come. X

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    1. I am rather looking forward to the 'arctic misery' that the media are ranting about. A perfect excuse to hunker down inside and do fabric-y things :-)

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  3. Those frogs look more like ginormous toads, they're huge! :)

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    1. Hi Eunice, definitely not toads (we do have some though!) but many of them are of a lovely size. We hope this means a strong and healthy population.

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  4. I learnt to lay hedges many, many years ago and it's a bugger of a job - a well deserved hot bath. Your hedge looks superbly neat and I particularly liked your fetching ensemble lol. I always think you need much the same gear for hedging as you do for giving a cat a pill! May your scratches be minimal and your limbs soothed by the bath.

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    1. Darn, I could have done with your expertise . . . Clearly you know what it is like because your description is succinct and perfect. Yes, a bugger of a job!
      Hands still hurt, this morning I picked out the tip of five thorn attacks from various fingers . . . There may be more :(.
      This too shall pass.

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    2. At least it wasn't blackthorn - they always seem to hurt more and have that lovely habit of suppurating. It does look lovely - methinks a new career path awaits?...

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  5. Wow, that was some job. Well done you!! I'm fascinated by the different methods hedges are put through in good old Blighty. Ours are mostly left to grow straight & given a hair cut when needed (by some people anyway) & that's about it. Hope the bath helped & the scratches heal in time. Take care.

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    1. Thanks Susan, unfortunately most of these old ways of managing hedges have given way to a tractor with a flail on top which eventually produces lots of gaps in the bottom of the hedge and a thick tangled mess at the top.

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  6. You definitely deserved your bubble bath. Do put some hand cream on your scratches. It's pretty cold here and set to get even colder next week so yes, grab the chance of a well deserved rest from gardening.

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    1. Lots of cream Eileen, and a couple of days rest! Thankfully no huge lacerations and everything is healing up now.

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  7. It’s been bitterly cold here but we too have wrestled with hawthorn. We could have done with your shredder but there is no power at the allotment.

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    1. Congrats for hawthorn wrangling Sue, can you at least have a bonfire at the allotment? that's my preferred way of getting rid of hawthorn brush.

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