Thursday, 13 June 2013

walking the boundary...

the orchard
We have been working at Cordwood since October 2010. Twenty years of neglect stood in our way and we allowed ourselves no budget for any grand landscaping on this six acre wilderness. So, root by tenacious root the ground has been cleared by hand and branches and trunks sawn and chopped. With a small stock of plants given to us by family and friends we lifted and separated, divided and propogated.

One day there will be a continuous, meandering path around the site, with different views and interest throughout the journey. One day...

But, there's a cup half full to enjoy now, as we wander around the boundary.

Cedar walk
The orchard is developing well, but with much work still to do. In years ahead the grass will be studded with wildflowers while grasshoppers will stridulate on the seeding grass stems where today it is silent.

Picnic Wood
Our Cedar Walk has developed as a chaotic cottage garden, being the repository of lots of gifted shrubs and trees. Cousin Sue must look at this part of our boundary walk and feel a strange sense of recognition. That's because so many of the plants were gifts from her two years ago. Since then, the poor things have been divided without pity... But they are clearly thriving on it as the geraniums, heucheras and tellimas given as soggy clumps have flourished.

The character of the walk changes once you're out of the Cedar Walk and becomes more natural. In Picnic Wood, the hours spent scything the recalcitrant tangled and smothering brambles and nettles have borne fruit. Spumes of Hedge Parsley billow around the cut path under the dappled shade of the birch trees. Red Campion collected as seed and then planted as plugs now flower beneath the hawthorn hedge.

We have a confiding cock pheasant who is our landlord - 'The General'. He circuits Cordwood on foot, inspecting all works in a measured manner, talking to himself. He will frequently appear from behind a shrub and scrutinise my work.

A man of few words to his staff, I'm sure I detected approval as he inspected the path cut through the orchard.

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