We’ve had a busy week at Genus HQ, not on large important projects, but on the smaller jobs that often get relegated to the bottom of the list. The wind-felled Amelanchier which we spoke of last week had been removed from the border but we took the opportunity to excavate the resultant hole. Two feet down we discovered the stump and roots of a larger tree that had previously grown in that same spot. Had it contributed to the ill health of the Amelanchier? We’ll never know, but what we won’t do is plant a replacement in the same position.
In an adjacent bed a lilac that we’d planted a few years ago received a light prune by removing the dead or damaged wood as well as opening up the centre by removing a number of the larger central stems (pictured) and crossing branches. It’s underplanted with clumps of the beautiful shade loving Geranium nodosum which we cut back before mulching the bed with our own compost mixed with coarse sand.
The final task of the day was to prune the ivy that we have scrambling over the garage by cutting back the wayward shoots and clearing the windows of excess growth. Ten years ago it was a rather unnattractive concrete box but now it's a living sculpture completely enveloped it in its variegated finery.
Behind it, recent winds brought down more debris, scattering the orchard lawn with leaves, twigs, and some rather beautiful lichen encrusted branches. This was cleared along with a number of fallen trunks that had been enlisted as rustic garden seats for several years but were now well past their best.
While we sat back and contemplated the day's work, a pair of blackbirds took advantage of the smaller windblown scatterings and made trips into the dark interior of a nearby shrub, beaks crammed with twigs and moss, homebuilding now their prime focus. We think that, at last ,spring has definitely arrived.