Yes it’s freezing. Tá sé fuar go leor innu, It’s a grand day for being on the computer except then the chill gets in due to the lack of circulation. Says it’s 5 degrees but feels like 2. This is after the wind chill and the damp is factored in I suppose. So I am not out in the garden today but I was the other day. I did a bit of Bonsai re-potting see above. Yes this is a very old naturally dwarfed ash tree. Fraxinus excelsior, excelsior as in ever upwards. A well named tree. As you can see I took it apart very gingerly and teased out the roots, cutting them when necessary. The holes in the new pot were covered with some recycled aluminum foil from food items, and pierced for drainage. I used the cat litter as shown after some research implied that it is the best for bonsai. There are many good websites on bonsai and I cannot claim to know much about this art but I have had the little trees for a very long time and the original ash was a foundling. Next post I will be re-potting another one.
Now another activity in which I recently partook. I have always wanted to know how to do hedge laying. Neil Foulkes took a group of us up in the hills of Dowra near Blacklion on the homestead of Isa Bazzani and Andy King at Glean na Sidh.
There before us was a strip of old hedge with holes and out grown trees no longer functioning as a hedge. I think we did a strip of about 4 – 5 metres. It was a nice mild February day but one where you wouldn’t stand around for long either. Neil started off by give us a talk on safety.
After that we had a go. The mix in the hedge was holly, hawthorn and mountain ash. The first thing to do was to clear all the undergrowth and any protruding branches that might get in the way. However a lot of branches are used to weave in and strengthen the fence.
Neil also gave us a short introduction to sharpening tools.Recently I had found that using a good new blade for sawing ash had made short work of it. To use a sharp tool makes all the difference when it comes to hand tools in particular. See above the bill hook. An small axe was used for most of the cuts. Neil covered most of the cutting tools in his talk, including scything. He spoke of the different types of sharpening stones, oil stones and wet and dry stones. That in itself would take another blog post. Here is a short video where Neil speaks about the joys of forestry. The day was funded by Cavan county council under the blanket of the Geopark of which Dowra is part of .