A Dirty Day!

It’s a dirty day, a day without a glimmer of sun, a day dull and overcast and, while it hasn’t rained, it and everything about it is wet and clammy and miserable. It is as day when those with any semblance of sense would settle down with a good book, a coffee or something stronger, and pass the time insulated from the misery outside. However, my mind was set on finishing some work outside and I wrapped up well and spent the morning in the garden. By lunchtime, my sense had returned, a state encouraged by the completion of my intended task and I have now settled to a more comfortable afternoon in the warmth of the house.

Storm Barra dominated the week, arriving overnight on Monday last and continuing into Wednesday with strong winds, heavy rain and local flooding. We escaped relatively lightly but when it was all over we realised that two trees had blown over – Laburnum watereri ‘Vossii’ and Cornus alternifolia ‘Argentea’. Closer inspection showed that the root systems of both had been quite weak, an amount of rot was present, and their fall was inevitable at some stage. Indeed, the Laburnum had been supported with two metal stakes and supporting wire cables for more than twenty years, really on life-support for all those years.

An old gardening notebook had an entry for the Laburnum reminding me that we had purchased it from Paddy McGuire’s Garden Centre on the 31st of October 1989 at a cost of £17.25 which, considering it has given blossom and enjoyment for thirty two years, was a very good price indeed. The Cornus was purchased in the mid-nineties – though I have no further details – after seeing a specimen growing in the garden of a Miss Jones who lived on the Beaumaris Road in Anglesey, Wales. Miss Jones had come to speak to our local garden club and we visited her garden while on a holiday in Wales, staying in Caernarfon and visiting gardens in the area. Both have given good service and many years of enjoyment – though the Head Gardener expressed more than a modicum of delight when I told her the Laburnum had toppled over! Perhaps, it had outlived its welcome in her mind.

Thursday was spent taking down both trees, cutting them up and stacking the debris at the compost bins waiting to be chipped/shredded before being added to the compost bin. This was merely an addition to the large heaps which were already in waiting for my attention, an amount of shrub prunings and the last of the larger herbaceous plants which I had cut down last weekend and at the beginning of this week. It was a bit of an undertaking but there is always a satisfaction in bringing such work to a finish and now I feel I deserve to be indoors, comfortable and enjoying that stronger drink. Cheers!

All is not loss and there are many snowdrops peeping above ground with the earlier ones in flower already. Click to see in a larger format:

16 thoughts on “A Dirty Day!

    1. I have a very nice Philadelphus which has outstanding fragrance and will plant that to replace the dogwood but won’t bother putting anything in place of the laburnum as there’s enough there already with the beech hedge etc.

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  1. Sad news of these 2 trees fallen by the wind … my thoughts go especially to this wonderful cornus… they will survive in another way thanks to the chips you made (I have the same shredder and I’m very satisfied with it)

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    1. As it turned out, the trees were cleared up without any great bother – and that was a relief! I must tackle the area under the dogwood now as it is infested with Muscari.

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  2. I see you have a Rolls Royce of a shredder! I was tempted to invest recently but decided the height of the shoot would make it difficult for me to reach so instead I am trying to source a different type that will be more useful than the regural “drum” types! The shredding is also mounting here but my current shredder is on its last legs !!! I also had to remove some trees recently but I find that already I can not longer imagine them in the space! You made a fantastic clear-up and the resulting compost will be like brown gold!

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  3. You’ve lost two of my dream trees, trees which I suspect do not enjoy our hot and sometimes dry summers but I’ve always wanted to grow anyway… assuming I could give up more of the full sun spots which I also really like. Sad to see them go, but it seems you always have someone else waiting in the wings to take over.
    I’m excited to see the snowdrops coming on. Even here the warmer than usual autumn has them showing.

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    1. The dogwood was of more significance than the laburnum which had always struggled and is not considered a loss. Snowdrops coming along – a few mild days will bring them into flower.

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    2. By the way, I’m not sure if I am following your blog. I lost all subscriptions after a change of laptops and when I go to follow your blog I get a “your subscription did not succeed. Try again with a valid email address”. I’ll persist.

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