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Fig border – South Area – renovation

February 6, 2012

There are always projects in the pipeline waiting patiently for their turn to arrive. At the end of January our attention has become focused on a neglected part of the garden at the west end of the Brewhouse.

As you can see from the image below it has been colonised and overrun by bramble, ivy, ground elder and various weeds.

Brewhouse west-end Fig border before renovation

Two plants among this tangle are the Strawberry tree [Arbutus unedo] and on the Brewhouse wall end an unloved Fig tree [Ficus carica], both of which are in need of some pruning to encourage strong new growth, rebalance the structure and ensuring we have flower and fruit later into the year.

After the area has been fully cleared of unwanted invasive plants, weeds and brick fragments. It will be dug over and cultivated to de-compact the earth and prepare it to perhaps be turfed or planted dependant on advice and guidance from our area garden consultant so that we remain true to the historic conservation aspects of the estate.

Clearing this area will allow us to make the most of the Strawberry and Fig trees and generally bring this area up to par with other areas such as the adjacent sunken garden with it’s fragrant weeping wisteria. We are aiming to have this complete sometime in Qtr 1 which we are on course to achieve providing the weather is with us and the ground is not subject to deep frost. Our initial efforts are keenly watched by two Robins [Erithacus rubecula]. The soil here is well populated with earth worms despite the compaction, though not for long I suspect.

Something we had not expected to encounter was the damage caused to the Fig tree by Wood mice [Apodemus sylvaticus] which have stripped the bark and some of the cambium from it’s lower limbs. So bad has this been that we have had to take the decision of removing those areas affected. The good news is 90% of the tree appears sound and healthy.

Wood mouse tucking into our Fig tree

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