Raising the canopy

The best Christmas present yet: telescopic secateurs.   Scissors on a very tall pole.   It was a bit naughty of me to choose a garden themed gift for the non gardener in the family.   But I need help with this huge project.

The eastern side of the house is covered in the white wisteria. It flowers for a short time; just a few weeks, but serves a job as shading for this part of the house.

The only problem is that it’s taking over the place. As my parents know only too well.   And this plant was invading the guttering, the tiles, the pointing, the walls.

So time to give it it’s first proper prune in five years.   It was scary stuff; and all I could do was pace about underneath and grimace at the antics of Number One Lopper.   He did a brilliant job – if a bit keen on the cutting back. But wisteria will grow again. And it will mean that we get so much more light into the house.

And best of all, I have a carpet of sticks to chip. Hurrah.

And I get to chip them where they fell. No dragging involved.

I did do a spot of chipping first thing this morning; and now have the soft fruit orchard well covered. I still have more to go for an aesthetic look. And a reduction in weeding.

But that will have to wait.   I can see weeds coming up in this mild weather and need to get on with mulching major areas.

But the one thing I have done; and been meaning to do for ages now was to attack the oak tree above the lilac at the entrance to the house.

I can’t believe I didn’t take a ‘before’ shot of this tree.   It has been buffetted by the sprawling lilac in front of it for about twenty years. And as a result has grown rather erratically.

So in true Nicole de Vesian style, I have raised its canopy.   And shaped it.

There is a madly wonky branch lower down that needs proper sawing.   But for now, using the loppers, I have shaped it.

I need to have another go to cut the side branches but it’s hard on one’s own. I needed to stand back and look and then shape.   But this is on a steep slope and one false step and you skid ten feet and end up in the asters.

I’m not fit enough to do that sort of gymnastics right now, but improving all the time.