Autumn has dropped away into winter, sudden and cold and properly seasonable, although surprising for all that. It is the first season I remember in a long time where the contrast between the two has been so marked. As the floods subsided the frosts arrived and we have entered that period where there is no more than 8 hours of daylight.
When we can get out into the garden the edging continues and pruning and then trying to make use of the debris. We have a chipper, but it is very noisy, a great beast of a petrol driven thing and we haven’t yet warmed to it. It may need the blades sharpening too, so we are hand shredding and holding the occasional bonfire to burn diseased wood. One apple tree is completed for this season-it was very neglected but more remain.
A weeping pear, Pyrus salicifolia ‘Pendula’, tangled like the hair of a witch, has been pruned to thin out the thicket of growth. I wanted to let more light through the tree as it grows adjacent to the new apple cordons and thought about taking it out completely, but it seems harsh to remove a healthy specimen without giving it a chance to perform. A little elegance restored, and faced with a huge pile of prunings, I made the base of a Christmas wreath, winding the flexible, brownish purple stems around a metal former I bought on Hereford market last week. It looks pleasing so far, I think. Are you making Christmas decorations this year? I saw a lovely wreath here yesterday http://patientgardener.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/how-to-make-a-christmas-wreath-for-nothing/
On the adjacent farms hedging is almost completed in the immediate vicinity of our house and it is becoming a quiet season, with bird calls the loudest noise we hear. No partridges in my pear tree, but there are pheasants under it….