For some time now I’ve been thinking about how the top part of the barn field will look in years to come, while it is still ‘agricultural’ land so far as the planners are concerned we would like it to look somewhat garden like in a very naturalistic way. My priority really is to plant some trees that will add some shape and structure but most importantly will screen us a little from the house next door. I’m sensitive to the fact that our neighbours enjoy the view across the Wrington Vale, but I’d prefer not to look straight at the side of their house from our garden.
I definitely want to plant something that is native to the UK and will look at home in its rural setting and have been toying with the idea of a hawthorn, a rowan or a field maple. Each has its attractions, the hawthorn for its blossom and berries, the rowan for its pretty leaves and the maple for its gorgeous autumn colours. I learnt today that hawthorns can support more than 300 types of insect and that dormice are particularly fond of the blossom flowers which I think has probably put it at the top of my list. The hawthorn’s autumn berries really are beautifully glossy and bright and will hopefully attract lots of birds, as I imagine will the hoards of insects that may reside in it!
In any case, planting will have to wait until the Spring when the builders have left, we have moved a fence and have a better feel for the space there. Incidentally, this space is also where I imagine shepherds huts might happily sit either side of the tree sometime in the future – imagine what an idyllic spot they will be to stay in!
Mike and I have been working hard to clear the thistles and nettles that had somewhat taken over in the top field, Mike’s perseverance with Dr Mower paid off and between that and the strimmer we have made a pretty good job of it. I did feel terrible about disturbing the various homes that small furry creatures had made in the overgrown area, but reassured myself that there are plenty other equally snug spots around for them to relocate to. Next on the list of jobs is to get the chain harrow attached to the mower and go over the field in order to even out the rough growth, I’m hoping for some decent weather this week when my father has kindly offered to help me hitch it up and supervise my progress.
There hasn’t been a lot of work on site in the last couple of weeks other than the underfloor heating pipework and floor screed, but the carpenters have been very busy in the workshop building beautiful larch and cedar doors, and now manufacturing panels for the garage. I’m hopeful that work on site will resume at the end of this week and we will once again enjoy seeing some progress.