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Washing The Pots


I shall begin at the beginning, in the dark, with a very amputated tree.

There was a large Ganoderma polypore on it, and I will retain the fond memories of squirrels perching upon the fungus. I’m almost certain this tree was Fraxinus excelsior, but I’m not 100%. It was a “boring” one that I didn’t really notice, so most likely ash, if not hornbeam or poplar. I’d love to hear some arguments for these three achingly dull trees (eg wildlife), but there is my proud statment.

Anyway, onwards to opinions about spreading woodchips.

It’s still dark, and I am faced with this mountain:

After sunrise, I feel I have made a good dent:

And here, in the light, that partially demolished tree:

Many members of the public complained, and it was my job to explain to them the importance of removing a diseased tree, giving an examle of last week’s storm, which had actually knocked an old poplar into two neighbouring back gardens!

In the wildlife area, a nice little distraction from the woodchip spreading was a little alpine garden growing on top of a wooden compost bin, with some succulents I was not able to identify:

Any ideas?

And some bracket fungi growing on an old Betula pendula log:

Here is a gorgeous, heavily fragrant shrub that I think might be Daphne bholua, but could also be a viburnum. I wonder if anyone can help me here:

And then I washed hundreds of pots. Their resulting cleanliness itself was satisfying enough, but this is a very worthwhile job, as things will be planted in them, safe from infection! A huge silver lining to the remaining sinusitis is anosmia. I can’t smell anything. This means I have no reaction the nauseating Jeyes ‘foot-and-mouth’ Fluid. It reminds me of empty farms in Devon and blue plastic boot covers. Fortunately today for all I knew I was washing the pots with vodka.

Some well-earned fungi:
Fuzzy white brackets on a very rotten stump that was later kicked out:

And a cracked cap underneath the old cherry with bleeding canker:

Here’s how bad its sap leakage is. I’ll be sorry to see this stout old prunus go as well.

And on a more cheerful note, the first spring crocuses. There are purple buds everywhere, but no purple blooms. Here are some lovely yellow and white ones. Such joy:

At the end of the day, the resulting wildlife floor, now 5 inches taller. The chips will rot down of course.

It was so wonderful to be back today. I feel complete again. Even ‘dull’ tasks are satisfying. Nothing is repetitive, only zen, and there is always a purpose. :)

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A very worthwhile day. for a minute there I thought the woodchips were in your own garden! If you love washing pots I can give you lots more to do!

12 Jan, 2012


What an uplifting day! The outdoors never fails to surprise and delight. Washing pots is one of my joys - as long as I am well wrapped up and have sun on my back!

13 Jan, 2012


Love the wee sedums....don't really enjoy washing pots!!

13 Jan, 2012


A good day's work and some good pics. What is a wildlife floor - that's a lot of bark chippings?

13 Jan, 2012


Nice blog, Tralamander. I tried to answere your succulent question yesterday but you took he question down too quickly for me;-(
First pic: Sedum spathulifolium Purpureum
Middle: I know this but can't think of the name
Bottom: either a rather loose Sempervivum montanum or a mossy saxifrage.
I prefer to wash my pots in water then rinse them in a disinfectant. This is so that the disinfectant stays clean for longer.

13 Jan, 2012

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