Saturday, 8 December 2012

Let There Be Light

Photocopyright: Maggie May

Today was cold but sunny and I found myself sitting on my garden bench with the sun streaming onto my face and my eyes squinting in the unaccustomed sunlight. It was a wonderful feeling and I sat this way for fifteen minutes or so before I felt the cold and went in.
Sitting outside in the sun in December? Had I gone mad?
Until yesterday, my garden had never had any Winter sunshine. In fact we had only ever had two hours of so of sunlight even at the height of Summer and this was affecting the things that I could grow.
Back in the seventies, it was very fashionable to buy Leylandii trees and plant them at the bottom of gardens. We planted two and some of my neighbours did the same. The trouble was that they grew very tall and spread their branches wide, very quickly, getting completely out of hand. When they had reached 30 or 40 feet, most neighbours, myself included, paid to have them chopped down.
These trees have huge trunks and only the tips of branches are green. Inside, there is only a brown mess of old growth and bare branches. It is impossible to shape them unless they are clipped when small or into hedges. nothing grows under neath them except ivy.
Only next door's tree remained after the others had gone and that shut out most of the light from our pocket handkerchief sized garden. As the tree gradually grew bigger and wider, I just accepted it.

Yesterday, there was a bit of a commotion in the back lane and there were chain saws buzzing and men clambering up the tree. Lumberjacks. I had the perfect view from the back bedroom window and the men took nearly all day to fell it because it had divided into two trees from the bottom.
It was just as though the light had been switched on in our back living room. I'd forgotten what the sun looked like shining through that window.

Only one drawback....... the collared doves, wood pigeons and magpies were panicking and flying round and round in circles looking for their roosting place. They circled round for ages, long after the tree had gone.
I really hope that they found somewhere else suitable. I am well pleased with the new look and the open space, but there's always a drawback to everything, isn't there?


20 comments:

Formerly known as Frau said...

How nice to have the sun shining in on your home now. I do feel bad for the birds but they can travel to another neighborhood with more trees! Have a wonderful weekend!

Irene said...

And do you find that you suddenly have to wash the windows now with the sun streaming through them? That is another drawback isn't it? You will have to plant lots of new varieties of plants now with the sun back there. What an adventure that will be. Wush I coiuld be ther to help you when the time comes. xox

Jackie said...

Love the fact that you will receive sunlight, my friend.
The birds will have many places to find to call home.
Love the light...
Love you!
Jackie

Along These Lines ..... said...

That's some heck of a tree. Grab a ladder, and decorate it!

Celia said...

How lovely to be able to sit in the sun in the winter. Hope you get to enjoy that often.

Working Mum said...

Leylandii are fine if kept in check as a hedge, but that was a monster! We cleared ten feet of overgrown trees and shrubs from the bottom of our garden when we moved in and the neighbours at the bottom suddenly got light in their gardens too. It set us off on a good footing with our new neighbours!

SueAnn Lommler said...

Oops...they lost their homes! Sigh! Oh dear! They will find new places to land...and you now have sunlight!!!!!
Enjoy
Hugs
SUeAnn

Secret Agent Woman said...

We call them Leyland cypress here. I put some in between my house and the neighbors because of their fast growth habit. But I'll be moving out before they become cumbersomely large and need removing!

Brian Miller said...

there is always a flip side...it always saddens me to see old tree go...i bet the light is pretty amazing though...and the birds will def find a new home....

mrsnesbitt said...

Amazing Maggie xxx

Optimistic Existentialist said...

May the sunlight eliven your home :) great blog by the way.

Rose said...

I always hate to see a tree cut down, but some of those faster-growing trees really are more of a nuisance after they mature. I'm sure you'll enjoy the sunshine; we've had several rainy gloomy days in a row here, and I know sunshine would perk me up, too. I'm sure the birds will find another home before long.

Gail said...

I can empathise with this one, we inherited a garden that had several leylandii and we had them chopped down last year. The birds came back the following spring and roosted on the fence for weeks. That was the sad part. The plus part was the quick recovery of the soil, once we had applied manure and compost, and seeing the border alive with colour.

Suldog said...

Too bad about the birds, but you can sit in the lovely sunshine and maybe throw them a few bits of bread and whatnot to make them a bit happier?

Suburbia said...

That's great! Nothing better than some sun, especially this time of year.

At least it's not springtime when the birds have nests with eggs in.

Hilary said...

That is a shame about the birds but animals adapt to whatever the moment brings them and these will no doubt find someplace new to roost. Thankfully it wasn't at nesting time.

I can only imagine how lovely it must be to suddenly have the sunlight pouring down on you. I have the opposite happening. My neighbour has built an extension to his house and now I have more shade than ever.

Enjoy your sunlight, Maggie. I know you will. :)

Dimple said...

It's amazing what a difference some sunshine can make in one's health. I agree with those who think the birds will find new roosting places, and I'm glad you were able to enjoy the sun.

May the joy of the season be yours, Maggie!

Maria Perry Mohan said...

Yes, that's true. Sad but true.

Mimi said...

They are nice trees farther down a garden (our neighbours have one) but I'd hate to have my light blocked. You must be thrilled it's gone, and I'm sure the birds have found and settled into a new home by now.

Sue said...

I'm glad you now have light, it raises the spirits so much, especially in winter to have sunshine. Our new house is so much closer to the southern hillside and gets so much less light than our old one - but that can be a blessing in our very hot summers.