Friday, 27 May 2011

Chopping back

As I have already said most of our gardening at the moment consists of chopping things back, particularly in the dell and the orchard. The orchard was actually four struggling apple trees which could not thrive due to the canopy of sycamore and maple trees around them.

Orchard before chopping

Keiren has enjoyed purchasing a number of petrol garden tools one of which is a chain saw and he has spent a significant time, with the assistance of my nephew Ben, cutting down and chopping up trees. We now have enough logs to keep us going in fuel for a few years!
We have now planted a new orchard consisting of 5 apple trees, two pears and a cornish plum. We took advice from  Cornish Garden Nurseries  about varieties suitable for our location. They were very helpful.
We enjoyed the blossom at Easter and found it hard to go with the advice were were given to remove the blossom to assist the trees to establish in their first year, however we did this, so no fruit this autumn. 

New trees waiting to be planted

At the bottom of the orchard there are three large pine trees, I told Keiren I was worried about the stability of them and his response was 'they've been there for 50 years or more they're fine'. A couple of weeks later he was proved wrong when one of the three trees blew over. Luckily no-one was around and it fell in a perfect line at the top of the bank which leads to the paddock. It now makes a perfect barrier at this drop. We enlisted the more professional assistance of David, our occasional gardener and handyman, to chainsaw the limbs from the fallen tree. I think we will have to call in the services of a tree surgeon to look at the other two.

The garden is absolutely teeming with birds and it is wonderful to hear the dawn chorus. The wildlife around us is amazing and I am particularly pleased to have an almost resident buzzard in the pine tree in the field next door. 
I put up a couple of nest boxes in February and even though I have seen various tits showing an interest they have settled for a small hole in the eaves of the  house.

Apart from the fruit trees we have not planted anything in the garden yet, but there are already some beautiful flowers.

On the 29th April we held a small Royal Wedding Garden Party. It was nice to relax in the garden for a change.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The beginning

We began work on our beautiful cornish garden in July last year. It feels like a minature Lost Gardens of Heligan project and we are still at the clearing back stage.
According to our neighbours the garden was really beautiful about 15 years ago and was even used as a small market garden.
The framework is still there and one of the loveliest parts of the garden will be the part we have called The Dell. It is a series of granite paths and feature trees (although many of these have now grown too large or been damaged by other plants). I am most excited about restoring this part.
This is my first blog and I plan to record progress on the garden as we carry out work. We have said so many times 'oh we should have taken a before and after picture' so I plan to do this as part of this blog which I hope to make prettier as I learn what I'm doing.

Framework of old (victorian?) greenhouse with self sown trees growing in and around it, plus about 8 years of grass cuttings piled up

The Dell

Despite appearances The Dell has already delighted us with cyclamen, anemones, and bluebells amongst other wild flowers.