Friday, 17 February 2017

Cutting Down The Untidy Marginal Planting

Untidy Marginal Planting Behind The Weir

It is that time of year when the marginal planting behind the weir looks very brown and untidy so needs to be cut down.

A Brown And Untidy Waters Edge

Before the cutting down can begin the small, temporary willow fence needs to be removed, it is erected as a preventative measure to try and keep the Canada Geese from entering the Provost's garden from the water's edge. The marginal plants have grown up around the small arched fence so it is well hidden but is easily pulled up through the planting, only a few of the willow stems have rooted sufficiently that they need to be dug up. 

Salix Smothered

Salix Freed From It's Marginal Covering

Once the fence has been removed the marginals that have grown too close to the shrubs, Salix alba 'Chermesina' (Scarlet Willow) and Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire' (Dogwood) are cut down using secateurs. The area is now ready for its cut down using a long handled hedge cutter.  

First Cut
Second Cut

The marginals are cut down twice, the first cut removes the long, top growth, about two thirds of its height, and the second cut removes the remaining third, taking it down to ground level. All the cut down material is raked off the area and placed in to empty ton bags then loaded in to the trailer for transporting down to the skip, none of this material is placed in to the compost due to there being a rather invasive reed amongst the marginal planting so the risk of it spreading to other parts of the garden is too high.  

Both Sides Cut Down

Wood Chip From Pollarded Poplar

With all the planting now cut down the final task is to dress the area with a decorative wood chip. The wood chip this year is from a large Poplar tree in the college grounds that has been recently pollarded. 

Ready For Spreading

The wood chip is loaded in to the trailer and, using a wheelbarrow and shovels, is evenly distributed over the cut down marginal planting, it took three trailer loads to cover both areas.

Decorative Wood Chip Mulch

Finished For Another Year

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