Whopper lopper work

first snow dropsUpper arm work on the upper branches of the mulberry tree. It takes both the small secateurs and the heavy loppers (a Welstead gift always appreciated) to get all the year’s branches. And most of them are up above one’s head.

So it’s a very good work out. I can tell that as I couldn’t get my arms above my head without squeaking to take off my winter fleeces.

I didn’t take an action shot of the mulberry in the courtyard getting its annual prune as I finished in the freezing dusk.

And this morning it is blowing a gale and pouring with rain. So I won’t be poking my head out of the farmhouse door for a few hours yet.

And the mulberry in its pruned state is such a sorry sight. Very French.

Instead you can see my first ever snowdrops which have sprung up this week.  That was a surprise as I had forgotten I had planted them. All they need is a proper mulch to set off their pretty and delicate flowers.

moving black berriesHaving missed the worst of the weather in the past few weeks we aren’t in the rhythm of this mad winter.  One day of perfect sunshine, one day of rain. And driving rain at that.

So yesterday we seemed to spend too much time ensconced in the insurance office in town and doing errands rather than leaping about the garden in the sunshine.

But in the afternoon it was all tools to the hands and out with the fork. I had this thought about the annoying thornless blackberries that take up a lot of the soft fruit orchard. They reproduce like mad, taste only okay when cooked, and are frankly, less interesting that all the other soft fruit.

So out they came. I have decided to reposition them right at the back of the orchard. and use their frankly voracious root system to hold up the new bank I’m slowly building.

the gap slowly fillsIt took ages. They have super deep roots and gave up the fight releuctantly. But I’m not concerned. A quick transplant and they will settle nicely. Especially with this mild wet weather.

This picture is the hardest to work out, but it is where I seem to spend the most part of my rebuilding the farm time.

It’s the collapsed bank at the back of the soft fruit orchard. I have emptied barrow after barrow load of poor quality soil (from the swimming pool flood) onto this steep slope. And tried to add some structure so it doesn’t all slide down the hill again.  At least I don’t have to go far for the soil. It’s just a few metres away all over the orchard.