Hardwood cutting garden

Well, there is sitting in front of the fire with a pot of coffee, an online newspaper or two and the Cat Training Project.

Or there is writing the blog.

This week The Creature has ventured indoors for the very first time with the door closed behind her. Locked in. She is still yet to decide whether the concept of indoors is her thing.

And even though there are marvellous possibilities for snoozing with soft furnishings in front of the fire… she just hasn’t quite mastered the delights of being an indoor cat.

The fireplace terrifies her. (Flickering orange things and sudden log movements). She does not like noises. Iphone conversations are baffling as she hears humans speaking but can’t find the person hiding behind the small device.

But when she manages a good ten minutes it’s a joy. For both of us.

Even if I have to haul myself up from the sofa to let her out the moment she gets spooked or scared or bored.

So now that I have left the delights of lazing in front of the fire, have a look at the latest project.

I have dismantled the kale patch down beside the stables.

I am looking for any venues which have good shade for the future soft fruit production. The summer drought and the parched leaves of my soft fruit bushes still make me shudder.

This part-shaded spot is ripe for a reinvention.

It was a kale patch. But that has moved up to the top potager now.

So once I hauled down the fencing and had a good fork session with the weeds…

It was time to play.

I had a few monsters rocks to move. And lots of raking. But the soil is pretty good, so it was rather fun to plan the future patch.

Three rows of hardwood cuttings of jostaberries.

I took them from the top potager Jostaberry hedge.

They won’t fruit for a few years yet. But I need to build up my stocks. And winter is the perfect time to do this job.

The parent plants are ailing. Which is not bad for some shrubs that have been there for over forty years. But it’s sad to see huge shrubs fail and die. I have rather alarming gaps in the main soft fruit orchard.

I won’t have this glorious weed-free patch for long. So I am putting down strips of weed proof fabric between the rows. And I will sow clover seeds around the perimeter. And mulch like mad in between.

I must must must chip more sticks.

I have one more strip to put down. But ran out of daylight to effect a good tidy edge.

And if you ever wanted to see what happens if you neglect a patch…

I just need to raise my head and look into the bramble patch next door.

It’s a jungle in there. Home to all sorts of lurking wildlife. So I have fenced my hardwood sticks.

And in case you have had a surfeit of soil, have a shot of a close up of one of my favourite wreaths.

I made four more in between this rather drudgy work.