An unexpected gift

No, not masses of Ikea shopping bags. I have a surfeit of those.

Mulch! Chippings!

And believe me, I do not lard posts with exclamation marks lightly. This stuff is gold.

I heard the deep roar of a very large truck coming up our little road this week and went out for a sticky beak.

It’s usually an EDF electricity truck doing some major repairs to random phone wires. But this time it was even better.

In preparation for our new fibre optic cabling coming some time soon in 2023 (we have waited years) the pruning gang needs to do their work.

And that means Jim from Marseille and his team clearing one metre of tree growth around every bit of phone line all the way down the track to the main road.

That’s 350 metres of prunings. And that means with the big chipper on the back of the truck (believe me it was the first thing I spotted when I saw the truck) I was in for a treat.

Once EDF use to come to do the pruning around the lines. Back in the old days when they invested in the infrastructure of their lines around rural properties. The trees are much too high for us to do the work. But they didn’t bring a chipper. They just came. Lopped off branches and even tree trunks and left the lot. An almighty mess. Often blocking the road.

This time it was just bliss.

All I needed to do was help out the gang with the branch work as they worked their way down. (And sneak in a lot of extra branches that had fallen down beside the road). Gush an awful lot about how amazing chippings are for the garden. Pester Jim the driver so much he was dying to get rid of me after the 40 minute job. And he gave in.

And upended a whole truck load of mulch.

At the parking area. Not even down by the letterbox where he first suggested leaving the stuff.

So madame is a pig in clover.

I’m hobbling with sciatica at the mo, so there was no chance of actually carrying wheelbarrow loads of the stuff around the garden.

But give me a stack of sacks, a mucky station wagon and the job was done.

And naturally I wish I had a few truck loads more. I just did mulching around the newly planted trees. And in the potager.

And before you all shout ‘azote’ and robbing the nitrogen in the soil from the fresh chippings may I say that there is already a thick mulch of well rotted stuff around each tree. So this is just a lovely weed suppresser and an excellent bonus.

All my own trees so I know exactly what the truck contained. Not too much pine. Lots of oak and cherry.

And Facebook even sent me a reminder of the last time I had this much free mulch from a municipal pruning..

Look at all that glorious stuff.

Those days are gone. The municipal pile hidden around the back of the works department in the nearest town is no more. (I drive past every month or so in hope..)

But short of stalking Jim and fining out his pruning route, I’m happy with what I have.

(But I did consider becoming a pruning groupie for a week and getting more…. poor man. He really had enough of me after even that short bit of work. But I have no time for that. There’s work to do.)