This year catkins especially on Hazels have been more impressive than we can ever remember. They seem brighter and longer and bring February hedgerows to life.
At the very end of our garden we grow a couple of Hazel trees. The Jays love the nuts as do the occasional squirrels and it is a favourite perch for birds coming into the garden from the adjoining countryside. But as organic gardeners we delight in coppicing it every few years to give us bean poles and pea sticks. this reduces the need to buy bamboo canes with their sea miles attached.
So, a few days ago, with a small pair of loppers, a larger ratchet pair, secateurs and a pruning saw tucked under one arm I attacked its limbs. I was careful to leave neat cuts so that I was not inviting disease into the wounds. In a short while we had, instead of a tall shrubby tree, a pile of poles and sticks and a revitalised view of the countryside.
It was a good activity for a cold May morning as it warmed me up nicely.
By cutting the Hazel down we can once again appreciate our view of the old Oak tree, a very special part of our “borrowed landscape”.