When I last wrote about my lovely old ash tree in the garden, I was upset....
Yes, this 142 year old tree had been part of the history of out cottage since 1875, and in the years we've lived here, we've appreciated it so much. Looking back through photographs though, you can see just how much shade the tree cast over our garden, especially when you can see how close our neighbour's oak is.
I didn't realise it at the time when I took that photo how sunny it was that day, especially in the fields beyond.
Back to a grey March day, and the ash tree finally came down, after a mauling by Storm Doris.
The majority of the tree was sawn up making lots of logs - let's put it this way, we won't have to buy any for a few years.
There was one part of the ash tree which stayed for a while, part of the trunk. The tree surgeons were cutting it and suddenly the chainsaw struck metal inside the wood. They tried to cut further but couldn't as there was a metal rod in the trunk, placed there to support the ash in its early years of growth.
Some of our friends said it would make a feature in the garden, but they weren't going to have to find somewhere to put it, and besides, it was oh so heavy.
Boo and Eric, our two terriers are rather put out though, they used it as a look out post, as they defended the south west perimeter.
We shall be doing something with what remains of the tree - we just haven't decided what the hell it will be yet. Possibly a table.
In the meantime, I can't believe how much light there now is the garden .Everything in the long narrow raised bed seems to be revelling in the light.
The red and white currants in particular have thrived,
and the bees are buzzing in the sunshine all day in the middle of the rosemary...
Back to where the wood is stored though, this was originally where the 12 foot high box were ....they had been taken down last year (straggly, past their best, and under threat of box blight) and I had been planning (in a rather slow and dilatory way) what plants I should grow in their place.
I'd been looking at plants for dry shade obviously, but I'm so pleased that I hadn't been gung ho and planted straight away.
Now, there are so many possibilities for this border. Yes, a whole border to plant against the backdrop of my neighbour's laurels . I've never had to plan a whole border before and the new possibilities are endless. I've always loved the thought of paeonies, I could have them now. I really want lots of dahlias ( my late father's favourites), perhaps a philadelphus,, and to be honest I'm slightly overwhelmed with the choice..
Our cottage faces south west, so the border is south facing, but there will still be shade at the top of the garden from the oak. So, decisions, decisions...I'm reminded of the old joke "I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure."