HIGHER MORWELL GARDEN DIARY 2020
These pages are a rolling diary of the changes
and events in the garden for the year 2020 in
words and pictures.
The east winds early in the year took their toll on the boundary fence. After a rather exorbitant quote
from a local firm to replace it I tried two hit-and-miss fence panels mounted between new posts to see if it
was a viable wind barrier. Usefully we had more gales straight away, and the two panels didn’t blow down
so another ten were purchased and installed. The ground was very heavy until mid-March and the hardest
part of the job was clearing the bramble roots along the line, finally after partly dismantling the compost
box nearest the fence the last panel was installed on 27th March.
The beech tree was
starting to overhang the
house so we called in
Matt Dustan to give it a
trim. On 19th January he
managed to complete this
without having to climb
up using a very long pair
of loppers. Unsurprisingly
there wasn’t very much
cut wood that could be
used in the woodburner
so most was sent to the
26th February and the
pendula rubra is starting to
show flower buds on the
branches. The flower bed has
previously been ravaged by
rabbits but 2020 has seen a
marked decrease in their
numbers, particularly after
their run under the potting
shed was wired off. The
owners of the field behind
had finally decided to put
proper stock fencing along
our border so combined with
our rabbit-proof fence most
find it difficult to get in. Not
the deer though.
27th March, onions just planted in Bed 5. The garlic in Bed 4 had come in for some unwelcome attention
from pheasants so had to be covered for a while. Just see the edge of Bed 3 growing “green manure” which
grows, dies and you dig it back in again to add to the ground.
All the beds again this year have been treated with slug nematodes, as has the polytunnel.
In the background the pyracantha hedge has again suffered from fireblight in two of the plants. Fair to say
this idea hasn’t been a roaring success as a hedge.
First week of April and the pieris originally from Warwick 2001 has put on a great display of new leaves,
plainly at home in our acid soil. The magnolia stellata is in full blossom in the background. Just behind its
main trunk is a small protected bed for the snake’s head fritillaries, so badly trashed by rabbits in 2019.
This year success! The flower heads have since turned to seed pods and are being left to seed the patch for
more flowers next year. There is an old rhododendron stump in there too, we have a viable cutting from it
so should find out what colour it is when it chooses to flower.
The magnolia growing at the north-west corner of the house has been a concern for some time. Its upper
branches hit the roof if not trimmed and there must be a possibility of roots growing into the house
foundations. So it had to go. We trimmed the easy lower branches down and left it while it flowered, then
on 11th April, by roping the upper three branches in turn with Lesley pulling them away from the house
while I cut through the base we managed not to drop any large pieces of magnolia through the roof. All now
either burned or cut up for woodburner fuel 2021-2022 in the logstore.
12th April. The rescued
amelanchier tree on the
right flowers at the
same time as the prunus
“Shogetsu” and both
trees have defied my
predictions by growing
well since we
transplanted them in
November 2016. The
edible berries but the
blackbirds finish them
off before we get a
chance of a taste
January to April
The little apple tree which lived in a pot in Warwick has come in for the same treatment from the deer as
in 2019. On the left, 23rd April, plenty of blossom and leaves. On the right a few days later just about
everything stripped off. No wonder the poor thing never grows.