The Exile Files

Raging Against the Outrageous. Laughter and Insanity Abound.

The Garden..

Posted by Exile on May 21, 2023

…isn’t really a garden.

What we have is a remnant of what was once a copse or a piece of woodland. We have large beech trees, a silver birch, a whitebeam, a few trees that I cannot truly identify yet and a couple of large fruit trees, which may be pear or plum. I don’t think we have an apple tree but that remains to be seen. I have found young ash trees growing in the eastern side of the property which I might move to fill a few gaps in the hedgerow that borders the place.
There are young beech saplings there too. I will not be removing or cutting them down. I want some new stock to grow here, to leave behind when I’m gone. There are bluebells growing under some of these trees. Colour in the grass. A boon to the eye. There are a few really old tree stumps, cut right down to the level of the ground.
We have some fruit bushes, probably currants or gooseberry. I won’t know until they go into fruit. I am no botanist, so this is going to take me some time.

I am tackling what was once a chicken run. About 100 square meters of overgrown ground that was full of nettles and weeds and the dreaded Japanese knotweed. That has to go. I had thought of chemical assault but Round Up is apparently not effective on roots which is precisely how the knotweed spreads. I also have it out on the periphery of our property and it is on its way into the adjoining fields. I have met the local farmer. His grandfather built this house and he farms the fields that surround us. I believe he won’t want the creeping pest in his fields and I will speak with him to hear if he has something effective to kill this stuff. I’m sure he will.
I planted two honeysuckle close to the fence around this chicken run. They are doing well and I will train them up the two metre high fence. I can’t dig for long these days. My back won’t have it and I don’t want the pain again, so I dig one line across the entire width of the run every day. This is to clean the ground. So far, I have removed a trailer full of nettle roots and other plant debris. I have planted a cherry tree right in the middle and later I will sow grass and a mixture of wild flowers to make a wild garden surrounding the cherry. I’m at the half way stage now. It has taken a month so far. I have planted some bush beans at the edges of the run to give a little shelter. Once they are harvested I will remove what is left and till the whole patch in the autumn with the cultivator ready for grass.

I have to clean up and determine an area which holds a pond. I believe it has a plastic liner but is so overgrown that getting to it now is out of the question. I believe the liner is punctured as there is little water to be found in it. This is close to our garden pavillion. A solid structure, totally enclosed with large windows. There is no furniture in there at the moment but that will come with time. I could use it as a sort of greenhouse if I chose to do so. Add that to the terrace, which is large and faces the West at the back of the house and we have a lot of recreational space to relax in, even if the weather isn’t all that good.

I have bought a garden tractor to get the grass cut. 1500 square meters is a lot of ground to go round with a man powered lawn mower. I will not attempt it. Despite my plans to leave a lot of area as wild as is possible without being overgrown, there is a huge area of grass to be kept and clipped. Also necessary will be a small trailer I can drag round to collect bits of fallen branches and twigs from the large trees. They tend to shed a little in the wind.

There is much to do. I am in no hurry. We shall see what grows here this year and adjust as necessary as we go forward. I want more colour. I have no idea as to how I will achieve that. But I will…!


2 Responses to “The Garden..”

  1. James said

    Keith, your description of the place sounds wonderful, and the photo confirms. (I could burn quite a bit of pipe tobacco in there.) Enjoy it to the fullest my friend.

    • Exile said

      Thanks, Jim. I’m certainly doing my best to enjoy it. I have rediscovered my love of the pipe here. I have given up smoking cigarettes and took a three month break from all nicotine. Not having any craving the cigarettes any longer I now have the time to enjoy a pipe and have the surroundings in which to do it.

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