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?