This Month

This Month December 2023 - Saturday, 30 Dec 2023

It is getting a little cold which makes the work much harder, I struggle in cold weather, unfortunately the house isn’t warm either, I will have to try to work harden to stay warm. I have been trying to finish tidying some areas as quickly as I can but although the mind is willing the body creaks and groans at my efforts. I think one of the problems has been that the warm autumn weather meant that some plants kept growing longer than usual so I couldn’t chop back sooner thus leaving more to do now.
I am happy to say that I have started doing the winter pruning and have been lifting and thinning branches to make some areas lighter.  One of these is in the ‘Tawny Corner’ area, so called as I often see Tawny Owls here. I have planted quite a lot of spring flowers and the area looks great when they are in flower whilst trees are still bare but is far too dark in summer. We have also lifted the lower branches in the oak circle to make the views out more appealing and taking the increasingly weighty branches off the surrounding shrubs. When I was clearing away the brash I realised that I would no longer be able to reach to pick the leaves for oak leaf wine.
Already there are signs of life from bulbs, most notable are the Leucojum, always the first to push through the ground. Some Snowdrops are visible and I anxiously wait to see if my new Snowdrop varieties will be happy here. I did spot an end of season bulb sale and couldn’t resist getting just a few Galanthus Woronowii which is a giant Snowdrop.
I am hoping there is less pruning to do this year, I say that every year but it all takes just as long and this year maybe even longer as the lad who helps with Apple trees and hedges has reduced his workload so is no longer coming here. I say lad but he is older than me and I am not as young as I was. I no longer go up ladders so I am going to have an interesting time trying to do the apple trees. I used to do them with a long arm pruner but since a shoulder injury a few years ago I have difficulty using it for more than a few minutes.
I am looking on the bright side in that it will soon be the shortest day and then with the nights drawing out I start to feel a little less gloomy, I could rival Eyore at this time of year!
I am progressing with arrangements for the special garden open day in aid of St. Michael’s Hospice on 16th June, and am starting to twist the arms of a few musicians to entertain guests on that day. I am also getting offers from people to do some baking as we intend to sell light refreshments so if you are a dab hand in the kitchen you are welcome to add your offering for this event. I don’t mind whether it is sweet or savoury but I do ask that anything made can be put in the small cake paper cases so nothing has to be touched by hand at the selling point.

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