Welcome to my blog, where a 30-something couple from the UK renovate and extend an old cottage, build some outbuildings, raise some hens and grow firewood trees and vegetables on our Acre in Hampshire. It's a bit like a smallholding but without too many animals, so we call it a homestead - living within our means, relying on ourselves and having a wonderful life!


Monday, 17 February 2014

Chopping trees, hedges and Bonfires!

What a glorious spring-like day! I was all set to have an hour on my road bike, but by the time Kristy and I had taken Monty on one of our regular walks (Seven Stiles) we decided that we should really press on in the garden.

I started by logging the tree that I'd pulled over with the Land Rover the day before, but one thing led to another and I took about six ivy covered trees down. They were totally bound with ivy as you can see from this pic. It's really no wonder that ivy will kill a tree if allowed free reign.

I took a pic to show a before and after. Before...
And after:
Quite a difference I'm sure you'll agree. This whole copse will need to be grubbed out to make way for our green oak barn, that will eventually incorporate a garage, workshop, tractor shed and summer house / garden office. We will then start again with native trees and hedging.
The trees were fairly straightforward, but the stumps were something else. I used a 2 ton chain hoist that I'd bought to help change the chassis on the Land Rover, combined with a couple of lifting strops, to winch the stumps out. The soft ground definitely helped!
Our neighbour Graham was spurred on by the activity, and chopped down the woody, leggy hedge that separated our front gardens. This was once a nice hedge, but had been seriously neglected and not cut for a number of years. Kristy and I had already cut it down from about 15 feet to 7 feet in the summer - the top of the hedge was blocking light in the first floor windows! Here is Kristy wondering if Graham was doing the right thing...
And the finished article...
It makes both gardens feel much more open and lighter - the dogs love it as well! We also decided over supper to replace the hedge with a post and cleft rail fence, with stock fencing incorporated to contain the dogs. Something like this, which we found in a catalogue of Charlie's. The hedge will be able to grow up the fence as well, but kept firmly in check this time!
Finally we took advantage of the fine afternoon to have a huge bonfire in our front paddock. We had a large unburnt pile from a previous attack on our laurel tree, plus the trees I had cut, plus the hedge. The whole lot went, and the bonfire is still smouldering 24 hours later.



1 comment:

  1. Some good work there! When we've pulled out stumps in the past we find it easier if we cut the trees off quite high so it gives you more leverage to pull them out.