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: