Hedge work

hornbeam preweedYou don’t want to know all the hedge-related puns I have been composing while I worked today. Heavy weeding will bring out the worst in anyone. Even punsters.

The sun was shining, the weather has turned ridiculously mild again and I had A Project.  With all my gorgeous mulch in bags waiting to be used, I set to to get all the annual weeds out of the hedge areas.

I have two new hornbeam hedges. One of which you see here. The other is so choked by weeds it is not going to win any beauty contests.  I will attack it tomorrow I think.

So this one is the ‘good weedy hedge’.

And the only way to weed this sloping area was to either sit on my butt and yank out unwanted green things from above. or perch and reach from below. mowing artur interruption

It was a yoga workout, believe me.  And the only real pause I had was when my lap was required.

He loves this winter sunshine. He even managed to stagger off his new favourite compost perch and come and trail about the garden. He didn’t have to go far; these hedges are close to the potting shed.

They are also close to some very tall oak trees.  And chestnuts.  So a lot of my weeding once the easy to remove annual weeds came up were oak related.

weed detailI have a forest of little seedlings all madly trying to germiate and get away.

This mass acorn carpet is baffling.  How on earth can a new oak tree survive at the base of an established old oak?

I suppose they rely on animals to move them about – hence the busy antics of squirrels burying acorns as winter fodder. Or in our case pine martens, door mice and the rare red squirrel.  And me.

I have uprooted thousands of the pesky little things – they take quite a tug – and have chucked them onto the new compost heap.  So they might have a chance at life after all. bare soil

I can’t win with this hedge under the oak tree, but at least I can get it completely cleared about once a year.

And I actually put down a few bits of leftover weedproof fabric. It won’t stop weeds rooting merrily in the litter that accumulates on top of the fabric.  But at least the acorns won’t get a head start on contact with the rich hedgy soil.

It looks like chocolate cake.  And so easy to work that I decided to put in all sorts of bulbs here too.  Muscari mainly, but I snuck in some narcissus as well.

hedge weededIf the animals don’t mistake the bulbs for the acorns I stand a chance of some lovely colour next spring.

All I needed to do after spending too much time admiring my weed free expanses was to cover the whole lot up with mulched grass and leaves.

It looks a bit messy again. But this gardener knows that all is well in the hedge.