After a week of Urbanity, it’s nice to return to the outdoors particularly when it involves saws, cutters and my favourite plant in our garden, the willow hedge.
As regular readers of this blog and that of thesnailofhappiness know, we have a hedge that, from 30 tiny sticks, has grown into a living companion of immeasurable worth. It provides us with wood for the Kelly kettle, shreddings for the compost heaps and chicken area and a means of controlling the water flow off the field behind our house.
And, whilst others have their gym membership to keep them in trim, I have the willow hedge to keep me in trim while I, well, trim it.
Last week, the remnants of hurricane Gordino (a service station on the M5, surely?), er, Godzilla, er Gonzalo (a character in the muppets?) swept across Wales and in particular our garden. One corner of the hedge, having been left largely untouched except for the weaving of a thick lintel at head height (a sort of experiment to see how to create a willow archway), decided to try to take out the neighbour’s fence. The snail did her best, in a howling gale, to cut away the bits most at risk of inflicting damage and the fence was left unscathed (unlike the snail).
So, my Saturday was spent gently easing out large trunks here and woven sections there, partly out of as sense of reverence to this amazing living factory, and partly out of a desire to not have large bits of it crunch my skull.
I had to start at the other end of the section of hedge I wanted to “manage” because a certain chicken was occupying a key area by the main trunks. You can’t (and indeed shouldn’t) take on a beak when it wants to lay an egg – it is a force of nature, and it knows it!
Fortunately, Anna only took ages and it meant that I could legitimately have a cup of coffee once I had done a bit of work (about 10 minutes-worth). Good girl, Anna!
Finally, I was able to reach the section that needed the work. As you can see from the BC and AD pictures, the harvest from this was somewhat abundant! I had to ensure that Anna could still reach her laying area, and she seemed happy to go there on Sunday to leave her contribution to our larder.
While carefully cutting down the hedge (not hacking into it and wishing I had a machete, no no, that never happened), I found a couple of places where I had used plastic stretchy string (as fun as it sounds) to tie bundles together to form the arch. Over not-very-many years, the wood has grown around the ends such that they are now encased in willow – just incredible.
So a lie in on Sunday then? Nope. Hurricane God-only-knows-what-I’d-be-without-you had had a little altercation with that favourite of DIY projects – Palletgate. Oh joy!