Friday, 28 March 2014


Hazel stool
Thanks to the water logging we haven't got very far with this years pruning. I tend to prune plants very heavily and then leave them a couple of years to recover. If the garden were smaller I would probably rethink this but it works well for here.

Wood harvested from two hazel stools
One of my favourite plants to prune are our hazels. These are chopped close to the stool every few years, these two were last chopped 4 years ago and have produced lots of firewood, kindling and wooden poles for the garden. This has reminded me that I really want to devote an area of the garden to being a woodland/coppiced area so that I can leave the trees longer in between cuts.

To-be woodland
And here it is, currently an area of shrubs that has become so overgrown with brambles that most of the shrubs remaining are on their last legs. We also have a couple of trees that, for various reasons, will need removing too. There are already a couple of hazels in here that have been coppiced before making this the ideal place to plant more. By planting them close together the poles should grow relatively straight, ideal for many purposes. I'm going to add more hazel but also silver birch, paper birch, broad leafed lime and sweet chestnut. They should all coppice well and long term I would like to add some oak too but my budget ran out so I'll just have to collect the acorns come autumn. 

Newly laid hedging

The shopping list included a few hazels and elms to help fill in this hedgerow. I'm also sticking some blackthorn prunings in here too and hope that they will sprout.

One third of the woodshed has been refilled
Every weekend now we are spending a few hours chopping and stacking wood for next year. Each year we burn less and hopefully this downward trend will continue next year as we are planning to install underfloor insulation to help cut down on our gusty winter drafts. Carpet would probably be a cheaper solution but we do love our wooden floors. 

New mini woodshed
And whilst we're on the subject of burning we have had to build yet another woodshed for all of our odd shapes pieces that will end up being burnt in the house. Thanks to the ridiculous amount of rainfall all of our soft wood for the house stove has just absorbed moisture making it ridiculously hard to burn despite it's age. This is still hogging space in our older woodbins so this one was thrown together primarily from fencing that we took down when hedging. We're really chuffed with it considering that it is made from bent wood and a couple of nails.

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