One year on....

Discussion in 'Garden Projects and DIY' started by Sheal, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. Sheal

    Sheal Total Gardener

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    Thanks Jack. :) It took us a while to find out what we needed but they are what we use. :thumbsup:
     
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    • Sheal

      Sheal Total Gardener

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      And finally the front garden.....

      I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with this yet as it's such a mess. Facing north-west and with many mature trees on the south-west side light, let alone sunlight was blocked afternoon and evening to the point where our lounge was dark and gloomy despite it's good sized window.

      The lawns are very uneven and not helped by the soil being shallow with many rocks protruding through it. The left hand lawn has been sapped of nutrients/moisture by the trees, and with very little light (below) consists of moss and weeds. There is also the remains of a dyke (stone wall) running along the left hand boundary. There are/were five pines, two Sycamores, one Beech and one Rowan on the left lawn and two pines, one of which was a Scots pine on the right.

      I've started digging rocks out of the lawns to make it a little easier to cut and not ruin the mower blade in the process. The ground is so uneven at the road end I have to use a strimmer. Hopefully I will be able to sort that out next year.

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      Our plot was originally owned by my neighbour so his shed below is right on our boundary. The door is now nailed shut.
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      • Sheal

        Sheal Total Gardener

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        None of the trees have been looked after and any work carried out on them has been more in the line of hacking not pruning. In recent weeks I have had three removed for various reasons. A Sycamore in the middle of the left hand lawn, one of three in the garden, purely because it was shutting out so much light.

        My feller - fellow (known as 'A' here) started by taking off the smaller of the twin trunks which actually snapped in the process, being so dry inside.

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        The Scot's pine on the other lawn had to come down. It was leaning precariously and was heaving at the base.

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        The third tree, a Rowan was dead on one side. Removal was difficult not only because it was multi-stemmed but because of the Beech tree in front of it. As it fell it lodged partly on the Beech so 'A' finished the job by pulling it out with his tractor.

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        The Rowan down it was obvious that the tree was diseased, the trunk being black inside.

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        How the garden looks now with all three removed. You can see the difference in light level. The three stumps are yet to be removed, 'A' will dig those out mechanically. When he took the trees away 'A' tested them for hydration, it was just 15% on all three.

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        As I previously said the remaining trees are not in a good condition and I will have to make a decision about those in the future. I'm loathe to have them all removed as it will leave the garden so bare.
         
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        • mazambo

          mazambo Gardener

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          @Sheal & @Trunky it must be so frustrating not to be able to spend as much time on your gardens as you wish but as we all know priorities come first and I'm sure you'll you'll both be able to get to grips outside as soon as you've done the same inside:blue thumb:
           
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          • silu

            silu gardening easy...hmmm

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            Hope the guys aren't away with all the wood @Sheal. there is a lot of value in the trees that they have taken down.I'd plant another Rowan fairly swiftly as it is deemed very bad luck to cut them down....well if you believe folk law that is:). Hopefully it won't be necessary to take anymore trees down, you don't say what is the matter with them. They don't look that bad, just maybe a bit long in the tooth.
             
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            • Sheal

              Sheal Total Gardener

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              Thanks mazambo. :) Next year I will have more time to spend outside. Unfortunately it's been raining here almost continuously for the last six weeks, just a day or two here and there that has been dry. That has held up progress outside.

              It's just one guy Silu and we know him quite well, he does the things here that I can't manage. I bartered with him over the wood as I know how much it's worth, that in turn brought the price of the felling down a good bit.

              It's funny you should speak about the folk lore. The morning the Rowan was felled I went out and had a chat with it.....under orders from my neighbour! :)

              The five pines in a circle at the top of the garden have a lot of deadwood on them. I've already removed the dead lower branches. The pine that's left on the opposite lawn has been hacked so badly that it's really ugly now. I'll take a picture tomorrow.
               
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              • silu

                silu gardening easy...hmmm

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                Glad you have found a "good" guy to help you @Sheal. Some so called arborists are complete cowboys who know zero about trees and are chainsaw happy. Charge the earth and try and convince you they are doing you a favour removing the wood:rolleyespink:. We had trees taken down at the behest of Scottish Power. Their "arborists" ....hmmm were definitely in the "cowboy" bracket:). I got them to shred up all the small branches and leaves into a huge pile. The pile heated up amazingly and reduced in size by about 3/4s. I left it over winter and by the next spring it had turned into pretty decent compost/leaf mould which I spread on the flowerbeds, nice stuff. Definitely 1 of my better ideas:) and they were happy to shed the material as it meant they didn't need to take it away.
                Someone down the road had 2 reasonably sized Sycamore trees taken down and processed into large logs ie there was still quite a bit of work to do to get the wood into manageable firewood. They sold the wood to someone for burning and got £300 for it! Not seasoned and still needing quite a bit of work plus Sycamore is not that good for burning, certainly not nearly as good as say Oak or Ash.
                 
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                • Freddy

                  Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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                  That’s quite a project you’ve taken on there Sheal. I can see why you would want to though, looks like a lovely spot :thumbsup:
                   
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                  • Sheal

                    Sheal Total Gardener

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                    You're right @silu, my brother was ripped off by so called tree surgeons and they cost him a fortune. 'A' is a good man, he's not an arborist and took the trees down under my guidance. His work is general diy although he runs his own croft/land too.

                    It is a lovely spot @Freddy and the reason we chose it, thank you. :) The gardens are a bit of a challenge but I don't intend altering much, just tidy them up and get them to a point where they're easier to work with. I'll be planting various shrubs and any flower planting will be in pots.

                    Looking down into the valley from the back garden.
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                    Pictures of the hacked pine Silu. It has also had the crown taken out at some point in the past.
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                    Two of the five pines in a group. The dead wood goes right up into the trees but I couldn't get far enough back for a full shot.
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                    The remains of my Scots pine below. I'm looking for something suitable as a bird bath for it, a minimum of 18 inches diameter. I've checked out a local reclamation yard but there was nothing there. I've also checked local nurseries/gc's looking for a saucer that's used for a pot base but there was nothing big enough, only in plastic. Not good for the birds and the first gust of wind would send it off somewhere un-retrievable. :doh:Any ideas gratefully received please.
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                    • Freddy

                      Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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                    • Sheal

                      Sheal Total Gardener

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                      That would be perfect Freddy :thumbsup: but terracotta has to be glazed to stand the frosts here. This is roughly what I'm looking for. I spotted one in Simpsons that was reduced but it was chipped and the glazing had cracked. They won't be stocking any more that size.

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                      • Fat Controller

                        Fat Controller Cuddly 'MOSTLY-CONSTRUCTED SHED' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                        What about a fire pit bowl @Sheal?
                         
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                        • Sheal

                          Sheal Total Gardener

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                          Hmmm, thanks but I'm not sure about that either FC, I presume they are metal?
                           
                        • Fat Controller

                          Fat Controller Cuddly 'MOSTLY-CONSTRUCTED SHED' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                          They are - tempered stainless steel usually. I wouldn't use a used one for birds, but if you were careful you could probably drill through the base and bolt it to your stump, silicone around the bolt to prevent leaks. If you wanted to be really fancy, you could fit it with some sort of plug hole or drain-cock to drain and clean it.

                          Actually - here is a copper one - obviously, you would have a redundant stand, but I am sure that you would come up with something creative for that (thinking a planter of some sort....)
                           
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                          • Sheal

                            Sheal Total Gardener

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                            The problem with metal and plastic is the birds can't grip properly when they land. I'm also thinking that something along the pottery line will be more aesthetically pleasing. Yes, I know I'm a fussy ****** ! I think I'll have to buy online, that's not a problem but the postage will be. :doh:
                             

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