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The field and trees planted


At the back of our bungalow we have a field, I would like to call it a meadow, but that conjures up visions of idyllic days spent amongst flower filled meadows with larks singing high above and the sun shining.
Unfortunately ours is not like that, it’s a field bordered by some Hawthorn trees and an assortment of other shrubs and trees which I have planted.

It was bought and attached to the property originally by a previous owner who had a cow and needed a field of grass.
Very open with the wind howling across the Fens with only one side having some Hawthorn to break the wind.
Over the years I have added just about anything that was cheap or I was given that could break the wind a bit.

Just recently I have purchased several trees to add a bit more colour. We bought a Rowan with white berries for our silver wedding anniversary which has settled in well, I thought it might be a bit less robust than the common Mountain Ash which is up there too.
This Goat Willow (Salix caprea) seeded itself beside the water butt against the house and had to be moved. Kept only as it is a native tree and feeds loads of moth and butterfly caterpillars. Pussy willow for the catkins like cats paws.

This one is a plum, part of the tree wild and part cultivated, so must get up there and sort out which is which and prune it out.

This next one, in flower but otherwise not too impressive is one of several fruit trees, apple, plum and pear that I bought for £3 each from one of those really cheap shops when they reduced them. Though we don’t really eat a lot of fruit, the Blackbirds like apples! It seems to have gained a growth from the bottom so I will have to sort that out.

Just some of the Prunus we bought.

Two more Weeping cherries were added to the front garden, one of which is ‘Snow Showers’.

Next is a Crab apple, this one with tiny red cherry like fruit.

This is one of two bought, the other (Malus floribunda) got planted in the front garden, swopped over for a Cornus which I think was sold to me as something it wasn’t. It was supposed to be Cornus Kousa Chinensis which is a beautiful small tree with wonderful white bracts. The one I had after five years (at least) is a metre tall and has the most insipid, barely noticeable bracts. So I got fed up with it in pride of place in the centre of the lawn and it has been relegated to the back field.
What else have we got?
Big fat buds on a Horse Chestnut.

One of the dark leaved flowering cherries.

Across the width of the field is a heap of rubble, clay and soil which was from the building of the extension. On this are Rowan, Elder, Maple, Buddleija, red hawthorn, Red Robin and Amelanchier. In it – rabbits!
Along one edge are various trees including Catalpa, more fruit, Laurel, Elder, Red hawthorn, Quince and firs as well as hedging hawthorn and another Amelanchier bought for £4 as a lost label item.
Also plants not wanted in the front garden like the orange day lily, Centaurea montana which spread like mad, Phygelius also a spreader here. Achillea and the really nice golden leaved mock orange bush which I was given by my friend who brings me his wood chippings. It was dormant and I didn’t realise what a stunning colour it would be.

Also donated by the tree surgeon are various logs, branches and trunks that he has no use for as firewood, which get heaped under hedges as habitats. This one not very big, but today we moved another huge heap and piled to create (hopefully) a nesting area for the Pheasants or Partridges. Various heaps have been homes for Stoats, who bred and had young, who then ate my baby Guinea fowl! The heaps are always full of Voles and Mice, food for both the Stoats and Owls.

Thank you for reading this far, perhaps I will burden you with yet another one about the front garden flowers!
What I really want is a wood, like Dawn and Lori, who I think both have one! But if I can’t have that I shall just have to keep adding trees.

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I can also hear the skylarks :o) come the summer.
are you finding you are getting more wildflowers emerging as time goes on? I'd love some wide open spaces like this to create a wildflower meadow.

3 Apr, 2020


Well Honey,you are on the way to a wood. Every little helps. Had you thought of collecting seed or seedlings in the wild and sowing those? Cherry stones germinate quite easily and though the fruit won't be up to much the flowers will be lovely. Holly grows quite easily from berries too. Both these should make nice young trees in 10years.
Very best of luck with it.

3 Apr, 2020


That s great you are planting fruit trees shame you dont eat the fruit but great the birds like the apples. I use to grow fruit trees but when I was told your not allowed to cut any trees down that including fruit trees I stopped as I only have a small garden. A few Ginko trees would look great giving you a wonderful colour of come autumn and they grow huge.

4 Apr, 2020


We have a lot of rank grass on the field Seaburn & Stera, so to create a good meadow it really needs to be ploughed, left fallow, ploughed again and then seeded. My life is really not long enough to go through all that, I did plant some wild flowers amongst the grass last year and left it uncut. We ended up with rabbit runs through the grass, eaten plants and huge tussocks of grass. We have several wild cherries, damsons, or plums - never sure which they are, very pretty in flower and self seeds. I have grown Oak from acorns and they are on the field, Holly I have bought in various varieties, all have been eaten by the rabbits, even though I put tree guards on them! I shall persevere!

4 Apr, 2020


Not all the fruit goes to waste 3d. The man who brings the wood chippings takes lots home as he has a family who eat fruit. My Son is a chef and takes some to the restaurant, some apples, but he mostly strips the plum trees when they are ready! I love plums, but my body doesn't, if you get my drift!
The Ginko looks wonderful, I didn't realise that it had such glorious autumn colour. I shall certainly look out for one of those. Perhaps wait until later in the year (hopefully) when we can get out again and find a more mature one than you can buy on the internet. Something to look forward to.

4 Apr, 2020


That's great your son and the man who brings the wood chippings has your fruit your son for being a chef and the man for his family. Yes I know what you mean certain foods I can no longer eat either.

I am so pleased you like the Ginko tree yes they make a gorgeous display of colour not only does it have the wonderful colour it is also one of the best trees to clean up polution.
If you type into Google Japan main streets of Ginko trees then click on images you should get some gorgeous photos of them they even have like an arched avenue on some .

4 Apr, 2020


How exciting!
18 years ago ours was a field, we planted tiny tree whips, they came as bunches of 25, mixed native mainly, planted in a chess board pattern, the first two years the grass was higher than the trees. We used to mow in between them, it only took about ten years for it to start to resemble a woodland.

4 Apr, 2020


Yes, 3d. I don't like to see the fruit go to waste, but no-one seems to want it round here. Loads of people put out apples free on the roadside and they are not taken. A few years back I tried to sell carrier bags full of Greengages at 50p and sold one! People prefer to buy from the supermarket the sprayed, pampered and perfect ones, rather than one out of shape. Perhaps the new 'wonky' fruit and veg will change peoples minds. The Ginko's are beautiful and have certainly gone on a list of 'I wants'.

5 Apr, 2020


Full of hope then Dawnsaunt? The chap across the road, he has an extra 1/2 acre to us, bought tiny whips from the Woodland Trust and I have introduced him to various Nurseries round here which sell slightly bigger native trees. He has now planted close to 200 of these whips and young trees and last time I saw him (before the lock-down) he was looking forward to seeing them come into leaf so that they looked something more than a dead twig! (His description, not mine).
I hope I shall still be about in 18 years time, a grumpy, doddery old lady if so!

5 Apr, 2020


I wish someone would put out bags of greengages here - I would be first in the queue. (People probably thought they were unripe plums...)

5 Apr, 2020


I like your field. A few cows grazing in it would look nice.
You have chosen some interesting trees to surround it. The wildlife must appreciate that :)

5 Apr, 2020


Hywel has come up with a good notion there, cows or sheep! It would be a nice addition?
I think you’ve got some lovely trees planted too, Honeysuckle. It must be a dream to have a lovely meadow, a dream for the insects and wildlife too, as Hywel said.

5 Apr, 2020


A gentle, peaceful blog.
You have chosen many beautiful trees and must see daily changes at the moment. The bird song has been especially precious this year and more noticeable.

5 Apr, 2020


I put a big enough label across the barrow they were on Stera, but no takers!

We like the field too Hywel, though it is a wasted space really, the geese sit on it and the two chicken and one cockerel, all that's left from Fox depredation, wander about and mostly scrap up plants that I put in. Rabbits of course have a go at most plants, but seem to leaving the leucanthemum and the Day Lilies alone. OH would really like a large pond/lake but thinks he should spend the money on under-pinning the house which moves on Fen land! Sounds boring to me.

I keep trying to make it wildlife friendly Kate, lots of native trees and shrubs, native flowers too. Yesterday we planted another Rowan down there, one that was bought several weeks ago before this all started, and horribly pot bound. Poor thing had to have the pot cut off to get it out. Hopefully I will be able to hear it sighing and it will romp into growth now. Also took a barrow load of wild plants down to put in, but then got diverted into helping OH remove some of the Elder seedlings, can't keep them all, under the Hawthorn trees, courtesy of the pigeons! Plants are nothing exciting, just wild stuff that moths like for caterpillars and 10 Red Campion (Silene dioica) bought last year for 50p each at the end of the season. Lots of various colour Violets can go up there too under shrubs and trees - they just grow like weeds here and I hate to pull them up and throw them out.

You are right Wildrose, the trees all coming into leaf or flower, the Hawthorn will soon be out in flower - should have been cut in the Autumn or Spring but will now have to wait yet again. The birds are very vocal first thing and with the extra quiet, less traffic, not that we ever get a huge amount, lets you hear them during the day. No hurry to do things so I can sit and weed quietly and see things I normally wouldn't - two different caterpillars from a metre square weedy patch in the path (guilty feelings again, but I did move them somewhere safe) Voles in the garden and watched the Magpies this morning tugging at the branches of the Judas tree. I know that these (Cercis siliquastrum) have brittle twigs that fall off, but do the Magpies really know that this is a tree with twigs that break off for their nests?

6 Apr, 2020


Magpies are very clever:-) What an amazing place to live! You are certainly doing your bit for the environment and I'm not at all jealous ....well maybe a little bit. I guess you have no problem with self isolation:-)

7 Apr, 2020


We were even more isolated when we moved here, we liked the idea of being away from towns, street lights and neighbours. The ones we do have are very nice, but separated either by the road (opposite side) or a field or two. Now of course they have opened it up for planning and people are selling off bits of their gardens to put a house on. We still sit way back from the road, about 100 ft so even the few people that do their walk past are well away and I go and talk to my 80+ neighbour through his gate and wave to the rest! Always something to do, the weeds grow quickly, more trees to plant as soon as the restrictions are lifted and I can get out to buy some.

7 Apr, 2020


Bet the night skies are marvellous. My daughter and I were staying overnight in a cottage in East Sussex some years ago. It was dark as we stepped from the taxi and we both stood speechless in awe. Because of the light pollution, we had never seen a dark sky. One of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen:-)

7 Apr, 2020


It's certainly dark once you get past the 'courtesy lights' which the builder put in on the new extension. Irritating as though you can turn them on so they stay on permanently, you can't turn them off! Sometimes I just want to sneak out and see what's about without getting bathed in glaring light. Up on the field it's dark and the sky just wraps around you like a blanket dotted with stars, the land is flat with nothing tall to block the view. I forget that people in towns don't see it or hear the quiet of night-time.

8 Apr, 2020

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