Aug 132015

The bottom of our garden has always been very shady.  In fact the whole garden was dark until around 1pm every day, hidden in the shade of a large, but still young Sycamore.

I’ve been wanting to remove it for several months, but Eli was keen not to have it out before our Summer party thinking it would leave the garden as a mess.  In retrospect we needn’t have worried.

The tree came out yesterday, along with a Laburnum and a Hawthorn that were crowded in next to it and growing into each other.

You can leave roots to rot, but that can spread fungus.  We wanted an apple tree here so paid a little extra for grinding out tree roots of each one.

We kept the Hawthorn and Sycamore for firewood.  Laburnum is poisonous and the wood doesnt burn well so that got taken away by the tree surgeon.

garden before

When we moved in

I’m delighted with the result!  Suddenly the garden appears so much brighter and larger.  Not only that, but the garden feels more balanced now.  The tree dominated the garden so much that the eye always led to that.  Without it there the other plants already show up much better.

See the difference before and after…

garden after

After removing some of the excessive growth, plus the 3 large trees


Once the Sycamore came out I counted the rings and it is 18 years old.  So very very young.  That means by the time the last owners bought the house it was only 3, and just a sappling a few feet high.

We already know the last owners were not gardeners so the age tells me that it was almost certianly an unplanned tree.

Now it is gone I can finally start to plant something better in that space.  Perhaps an apple tree, or more elegant tree that won’t grow too high or wide.  Any ideas?

Aug 212014

Well it is now almost three months since moving in, and still most of my things are in boxes stacked in the hallway.

With a few days off work and finally some time to start on the most urgent jobs I’ve decided to tackle the overgrown garden hedge.

The hedge, like the rest of the garden, was already massively overgrown when we moved in, but tackling it meant saving to get a hedge cutter.  No way I was going to do this one by hand.

With a hedge trimmer I’m glad to say it really wasn’t too bad a job.  The hardest part was reaching the top, so for that I used a ladder and slowly inched it along bit by bit.

The important thing is in trimming a hedge to taper it slightly, so it is wider at the base and narrower at the top.  That lets the sunlight reach the whole hedge so it is nice and even.

Being brutal was hard.  I’ve had to really take it back quite a long way because it had just grown too much.  Unfortunately that means there are now lots of bare patches.  Will it regrow?  Time will tell.  Ideally I would have done this earlier in August so there was time for new leaves to develop before winter.

On cutting the hedge I discovered some large bare patches filled with ivy and other creepers.  I suspect the growth of these is blocking the sun to parts of the hedge and stopping it growing in places – so the ivy had to go.

Overall, I’m very pleased with the results.


Before before before


And After

after after after