3 weeks in…

… and still no rain!! I can’t quite believed we moved house in the month of April showers and we have had no rain to speak of at all, the non gardening population will be thinking I am mad to be complaining of such a thing but I am sure all you fellow gardeners will understand.  I have invested in a sprinkler to help all the recently planted settle in to their new home.

It feels like we have been here a lot longer than 3 weeks, I think this is due to the amount we have achieved in this time.  The house needs a lot of work and TLC and I promised that when we moved in I would leave the garden alone for a year, get to know it and make grand plans for next year. I was fine with this and looking forward to winter landscaping and seed catalogues by the fire.  This changed within 2 days.

3 pictures of Holly tree, before and after

The Holly Tree

The holly tree is the reason things changed.  When we first viewed the house half the garden was hidden by the tree from the upstairs window, I had no idea there was anymore to it than the lawn, I planned to wait for winter and then shape and prune it, keep the hight but open up the bottom half or more.  When we moved in we discovered that behind this monster was a storage area for pots, compost and random stuff (as seen in the middle image), the only problem was we could not get behind it without being scratched to high heaven.  I was granted leave from the hard physical graft that was going on in the living room to tackle this problem so that we could hide all the rubble we were accumulating from knocking out a 70’s brick fire surround.

I started to prune away the branches down one side, thick gloves and long sleeves required, although I still came out of it looking like I had been in a fight with a crazy cat. I cleared enough to get by but then work stopped, I could see in there that there was a blackbird nesting with one very newly hatched chick, I didn’t wish to disturb this family, instead I became fascinated with what turned into my very own live Springwatch episode in the garden, all that was missing was Kate Humble.

Being the impatient gardener that I am, the next day I tidied up around the bottom of the holly tree making sure I didn’t disturb the nesting family a couple of feet up, this actually turned into a lovely half hour, as I was clearing around the bottom of the tree, the female blackbird was coming down and collecting the insects being revealed and taking them back up to her young.

It is amazing how much that little bit has changed the garden and made it feel a lot more open already, once we get towards the end of summer I will don the protective clothing again and tackle the tree once more.

Here is something interesting I found about holly whilst browsing around:

Investigations often show that holly leaves are most prickly towards the bottom of the tree, a position where the leaves are most likely to be grazed by large browsing mammals (e.g. deer).

Although holly bushes in towns and cities are unlikely to be grazed by deer, evidence suggests that cutting and clipping can also increase the degree of prickliness. (http://www.field-studies-council.org/publications/resources/ks3/holly.htm)

Still lots more to tell but feel I have babbled on enough for today 🙂


About heathermcqueen

I love learning and creating. Sharing my experiences with you I hope to learn more and inspire others. I am madly in love with everything, determined to find the positive in everything. I can usually be found sewing, gardening, sometimes baking whilst listening to an eclectic mix of music when I am not pandering to the whims of a toddler, working full time and studying for a degree.
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4 Responses to 3 weeks in…

  1. kate says:

    I think the rain is heading in your direction (I’m in Wales, and we’ve just had lots). I had a similar holly problem when I moved into my house a few years ago, but I’m not sure I can confirm your ‘prickliest towards the bottom’ – mine is horribly prickly everywhere. And most prickly when you’re trying to weed and hit a hidden holly leaf.

    Welcome to your new garden – lots of possibility – and to Blotanical (which is how I found you)!

    • I must live in the only area in the country to keep missing this rain! It keeps clouding over, deep dark clouds, the wind picks up and then nothing. I am sure most people would be thrilled to have moved to what appears to be a no rain zone 🙂
      I agree about the prickliness, I was merely pointing out what a website said and it does make sense, it even had a formula to work out the prickliness factor? Mine too is pretty viscious all the way up.

      Thank you for your welcome, isn’t Blotanical brilliant, I can get lost on it for hours!

  2. Alistair says:

    I know exactly what you mean when it comes to moving house and should we leave the garden till we find what secrets it hides. Its a long time ago now, but there was no way this was ever going to happen. Oh and the post below, Your house looks fantastic.

    • Thank you Alistair for your comment, your blog is super and I love the two blogs you link to in your latest post, with all this reading I don’t know how I am going to find tme to be in the garden 🙂
      Can’t wait to read more though.

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