I've been continuing cutting limbs off the willow at the back. I had to do a bit at a time because of my joints. I've been cutting the canopy into smaller chunks and separating branches and twigs.

Loki, the stump and a holly sprout

Today Pim's dad brought a chainsaw to finish coppicing it, but it stopped working about 1/4 in. I tried to continue but it was a bit too much for me, the stump is quite wide at the bottom (at about 8 cm from the ground). In the end Pim cut it with the folding saw and some patience. The last bit split and there is a small hole on the stump. I gather it is best to not cover stumps with paint or anything, but I didn't like how this hole was going to collect water, so I filled it with paraffin from melted candles and dabbed around it a bit. It is not completely covered but the bits that would collect water are.

Looks like the central branch enveloped a couple of others.
There were signs of this on the exterior as well.

The hole that concerned me.

Waxy mess.

I hope it will sprout back this or next year and live on as a coppice. Perhaps even be harvested for basket material.

As it stands now.

So now, all the raspberries and red currants will get a lot more light and some sun. Last year was quite dark in there and they barely gave any fruit. I certainly should fertilise the area as well.

I also found a few holly sprouts in this area, one right by the stump (see first pic). They'll also stand a better chance.

There is another tree a few paces further, right at the edge of the property, a hawthorn which I love and is of modest proportions. It can be seen in the last picture.


Willow at the back

I've been meaning to trim the willow at the back for a while. The main problem in the entire garden is the hedge*, of course, but we'll have to talk with the neighbour about that and I suppose have disposable money around in case we reach an agreement. Not gonna happen any time soon.

Meanwhile, the berries at the back are also getting lots of shadow from the big crown of this willow. A year ago, I think, I cut off one side branch, but it grows so fast and this summer we basically got no berries.

I got a folding saw recently and today I cut one thick branch off at about a metre from the ground. I want to just coppice it, maybe even harvest it for basket weaving?

I have another two branches to go but I'm doing this by hand (should I say, by shoulder, which is giving me grief) and cutting everything into little pieces is taking me a long time. I don't know if I'll cut the other branches this year.

I harvested some of the pussy willow from what I cut and put it in water jars inside. Unfortunately Loki likes it (of course) and I'm sure at some point he's gonna topple a jar and make a mess.

I also cut off a thickish (5 cm?) branch in the hawthorn at the back. It was a sucker that was growing straight up from the bottom. Not easy, had to cut it in several pieces and untangle it sideways (it was as tall as the tree and branching at the top). I also trimmed a few other very minor branches. Now the tree looks much nicer, I think.

Some signs of life in the new snowdrop patch. Aren't they late?

*Of course it is Leyland cypress, and has been cut badly so it's brown on our side, and it's like 2,5 metres tall at least. Not getting any sun in winter at all.


Signs of spring

These bulbs were already here when we got the house,
they come back every spring.

I planted some snowdrops here in November,
they're popping out!

Cherry tree

The healthiest of the rosemaries ha grown 10cm sprigs

Rosemary beetle already in place

Fig tree