No wonder the stump was swaying in the recent high winds; I watched from the window in the roof and saw that not only the huge nest of dead ivy but the body of the stump was rocking. Time to call HandsomeHunk and get him to get the ivy off before it fell on the drive or maybe on my head when I was walking past under it.
HH duly came and inspected the job. "Won’t take long”, he said confidently. "I've brought my extension saw and a long pole. I’ll be able to shift it.”
I usually go out and work with the helpers, perhaps a bit of supervision is included too, as I haven’t known either HH or WW (Wiry and Willing if you forgot) for long. HH comes uncomfortably early and I was still organising myself indoors. Very soon the doorbell rang although I’d told HH that I would come out as soon as I was in a fit state. I saw that he had left off the hard hat and was pushing at the ivy rather than sawing it off.
“I think you'd better come and look for yourself” HH said. I saw that he had a tall ladder leaning against the stump. “I can’t climb that ladder”, I said. It really was much too long for me and I wasn’t sure I had the necessary courage or agility. “You won’t have to climb up”, he said, “ you can see the problem from down here. The tree is completely hollow”.
So it was. HH had taken off the ivy nest and the innards of the rotten stump were visible. He pushed at it and large bits dropped off. He poked some more and sawdust came dribbling out.
After much careful prodding the ivy crown and top of the stump were off completely. But then disaster struck. The stump had been host to a large climbing rose (yes, another one of the monsters which can grow to 20 m or more, with vicious tendrils armed with even more vicious thorns) and quite unexpectedly, the bark incl. chicken wire and rose came off and thudded into the large philadelphus shrub next to it.
The bark would have made a wonderful cave for several children, except that the chicken wire which had held up the lower strands of the rose was firmly embedded in it and would have cut any child to shreds.
However, all came right in the end, after much toil and trouble. HH finally managed to salvage the foot of the tree which we saw is home to dozens of bumble bees who have burrowed into the soft timber, dislocating little heaps of natural sawdust. I will be delighted if the stump can remain as rent free accommodation for the entire insect population of the garden.
Unfortunately, I am now left with piles and piles of debris. As WW is cutting the hedge at the same time I have a problem. How to get rid? I’d love to have a bonfire but I’ve already smoked out the village once, they won’t be very happy if I do it again before they’ve had a chance to forget it and forgive me.
PS: it’s taken me hours to write this really rather insignificant post. I am quite exhausted from swearing at Google for messing me about and changing things and making things so difficult. The uploaded photos are of poor quality, apologies. And there’s no ‘reverting to the original Blogger’ anymore either. But at least Google have found my yyys and xxxs again and several other letters they mislaid.
Blast you, Google.