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Wellington Field Allotments Hixon


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By Mrs FM


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Recycling Old Trees and Bushes.

The last few years my mother has let me take over the garden at home more and more, so this year I have started a lot of re-organisation in the garden as well as re-planting. One of the first things I did last winter was to rip out the overgrown Raspberries and then divide and re-plant them at the allotments. After re-planting, between the canes, I have been applying a mulch of chipped branches from the bushes that have been pruned at home. The recent removal of a large Buddleia and Flowering Currant, have provided a lot more chippings. The leaves from the bushes have gone on the compost heap and the larger branches were cut up and bagged in old compost bags.  When I have removed larger branches from bushes before, they have been given to one of the local pubs to burn on their fire, but this time I left 3 sacks outside our house at the end of our drive and they went over night. What a way to recycle, just leave your rubbish outside and someone will take it and make use of it. Quote/misquote “One mans rubbish is another man’s gold” (One mans poison is another mans wine.) It saved my petrol taking it to the recycle tip, or to the pub! (Perhaps that wasn’t such a good idea after all!)

I have re-planted the empty patch of garden that is by a low wall, with an evergreen Loquat and Lophomyrtus Black Pearl. There is already a stunted variegated Holly and self set Cotoneaster next to them as well. The idea is that whereas the Buddleia and Currant only provided a screen from next doors when they were in leaf, the evergreens will be a permanent leafy barrier. The other side of the Loquat there is already a variegated Laurel, or Acuba Japonica Variagata, so with the dark red leaves of the Myrtle and green leaves of the Loquat as well as the darker green of the Cotoneaster and silver and green of the Holly, the mixture will make an ever lasting barrier of different and contrasting leaf shapes, sizes and colours.

Next to the new plantings is a large and very splendid Rowan tree that has to be reduced in size as it is leaning against and threatening, the neighbour’s retaining wall. The magnificent Crab Apple a few yards away has also got to be dramatically reduced in size. I am waiting for the bright berries on the Rowan to be devoured by the birds who love them and have started eating them early this year as there seems to be little food about for them. Also it will be better after the Crab Apples have dropped and ideally the trees should be pruned later in the winter after the leaves have dropped as well, but I am keen to get the job done. The Crab is going to be pruned very hard, almost cutting the branches back to the main trunk, or in other words I am going to “Pollard” it.

There will be a large amount of thicker branches most of which will be about the thickness of my arm. These I am not going to log and re-cycle as firewood, but instead I am going to saw them up into 8 or 9 inch lengths and split. The idea is to then use them to make my own “Log Rolls.” This can be done bit-by-bit on cold winters evenings when I can’t do anything in the garden, or on the allotments. The “Log Rolls” are then going to be used to edge the cobble stone path at my allotment. I had thought of using the same plastic lawn edging which I put down very successfully round the lawn at home to stop roots of the twitch grass in the lawn from going into the borders. However, I decided that plastic would not be very good for edging a stone path and the same design of edging in metal was quite expensive, even more so than the ready made log rolls that we also saw on sale. Mom and I both decided that the Log Rolls would be a good idea to edge the path, but would be prohibitively expensive. After looking at them more closely I could see that they were only made of short, straight, thin logs that had been split and wired in a length with heavy-duty wire and fencing staples. A 9 inch length of log, split and wired, should add about 8 to 9 inches to the length of roll, depending on the spacing, thickness, etc. Making the log rolls will be a very time consuming job, but what a useful job and what a way to recycle an old tree!