Tuesday, 30 October 2012


What do you do if the two gardeners living at a site disagree about the garden?

One wants a more formal room structure to the garden with neat hedges, well drained lawns and a separate wild garden. The other likes a random appearance with an evolving garden where wild and more formal blend into one another.
The first is tidy and organised, the second is not.

The image of the pittosporum ball illustrates the dilemma - R loves to prune and shape and control the plants. She would be a topiary fanatic if let loose.
This does have some advantages - the cutleaved elder needed taking back to near the ground to get new young growth next year. So I let her at it.

The pressure is building and I think I am losing. The jungle is being tamed and threats of diggers and drains looms.
I have a rough patch by the stream where yellow rattle, ragged robin and teasel thrive and so far she had been thwarted in attempts to "tidy this up".

Now to something a lot more threatening - the ash tree disease. As usual the powers that be have footled about when action was needed but, probably, the spread was unavoidable, sooner or later.

The problem is our small mature woodland area is 80% Ash. Some of the younger trees are beautifully shaped and then older ones a haven for wildlife.

One question begs to be answered - why import ash saplings?
In the spring and summer seedlings are everywhere and surely this country could have provided its own young trees.
Of course then there is the question of MONEY! It was almost certainly cheaper to get them from abroad.
One consolation is that, by the time it reaches here, there will be little point in burning all the wood to prevent its spread and we will have enough logs to last us until we are 150!

(from the Norse)

Ash .....
our flesh is your wood,
you are the Tree of the World*,
you are my hammer haft,
and cleft the cure of my child.
Your flesh comes late,
goes so soon.

Ash .....
when your leaves fall
your limbs are bare and grey.
When a gale blows
your one-winged keys
spin to another day;
your black caps mourn.

Ash .....
your wood is white
and hardened in the years;
your sawn branch
cleaves well, burns long.
Summers ascend in smoke,
and that which remains ..........


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