good and bad

Today we were in London visiting George who is 88 at the end of May. We had a long chat about random stuff; he and Margaret his BF are a credit to their generation. What experiences they've had and how different was their world growing up in the south London / Surrey borders in war time. I liked Margaret's story about the craft cupboard she and her sisters shared and how they each had an space for their own project. Apparently the cupboard was messy and their dad would open it so visitors could see and laugh gently at their untidiness. Then George told us this sunburn stories - even on cloudy days in Eastbourne and Great Yarmouth he managed to get blisters on his arms but the scorching rays of Australia and Columbia in his navy days had no effect on his pale skin. Bless. 

I love to listen. The photos this time were taken yesterday. Thought I'd have a bit of a rant about Leylandii trees. I realise that hedge planting is normally reserved for the winter months but it is now that we can really see the advantages of a mixed deciduous hedge which is just so pretty and right for the English countryside. This one is about 15 years old and we planted a mix of blackthorn, field maple, beech, hawthorn and hazel twigs into largely unprepared ground. Within 5 years the hedge which runs the entire length of the garden and along the back in an L shape was well established. We have been cutting it back severely each year as it grows thick and fast. Here it is behind the summer house where we once had an arbour. We have laid cardboard, soaked it and top dressed it with bark to suppress the patchy grass. There is still a bit more to do as well as some grass seeding further back. The plan is to lay some stone sculptures under the walnut tree - the lead time on these is about a month but there are some photos on the site we are ordering from if you're interested.

The second photo is of an eco house in the village with a deciduous hedge like ours after just two years.  So why would you blot the landscape with this awful conifer? The golden form is particularly horrible. The brown bits never grow again and the trees suck all moisture from the soil around so nothing new grows near it. I will be lobbying our new neighbours to dig them out. 

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