5 May 2012

And Lo, There Was Light

I used to hang my head in shame, try not to mention it, and deflect accusations of responsibility with elaborate tales of previous owners and loud drumming.

For I have to confess my garden once sustained a line of leylandii trees. Gasp! I know, I know. Inconsiderate unneighbourliness and all that.

But no longer! Last week a nice man with a chainsaw and tight trousers came and cut them all down.

And now, strangely, I feel like I am in mourning. Not for the trees themselves; they were dark, imposing, bird-less monstrosities. It’s the secret wild little world that existed underneath them that is gone, and I’m sad for its disappearance.

Because it was a dry desert under the canopy I planted ferns and trained interesting types of ivy to climb up the trunks. It was where I flung bits of pruned shrubs and all the canadian weed and drowned snails swooped from the pond got dumped. Dead pigeons were buried there. Elaborate tunnel systems were set up for the frogs to have safe passage from the pond to hiding places under brick and lumps of concrete. Fairies lived there too. The sort you find in garden centres, but hidden in the ivy with spiders spinning round them they took on a look of Victorian Gothic. Or so I thought. Oh god, I’ve just remembered the astrantia. Its white ghostly form was beautiful in the darkness. All gone.

The tree surgeons did a very good job. They spent a lot of time and sweat digging the roots up. The ground is now completely bare and ready for replanting. The story is a positive one ... but at the expense of some magic.