Once we’d replaced the privet with fencing, it really brought home to us how much the apple tree dominated the garden:
Although other people have often said “oh, it’s lovely having such a big apple tree!” they don’t have to deal with it. I’ve discussed it before, but the tree really is a pain, and I mean that at least in part literally: not only did I nearly get concussion from a low-hanging branch; but only two weeks ago I slipped on rotten apples and fell full length, whacking the back of my head in the process. And the only reason there was a pile of rotten apples is that the tree has filled our compost bins. It’s pointless to clean the decking, if there’s one big Health and Safety disaster staring us in the face.
Towards the point of no return, I started to quail in the face of removing what (if it were in one of Sheffield’s many parks) could be considered a lovely tree: it’s just the wrong plant in the wrong place, a seven-metre canopy in a ten-metre garden. We were only putting right what the house’s previous owners had done wrong, so I had to keep strong, despite my instinctive doubt. After all, even though the Welsh rose was “Team Apple Tree” originally, she’s been gradually convinced: it has to go.
And go it has. The same firm who swapped our privet for fencing, came back the next day and dismantled our tree. Just before you see a photo of the garden as it is now, here’s the garden almost exactly one year ago; November 10, 2015:
And here was the garden on November 1, 2016:
I still have some slight bad feels, and feel a kind of shock of empty space. But even though I speak as someone who usually loves expanses of green, I’m really excited by what’s now a not-quite-blank canvas. The acer at the back is in completely the wrong place, but I love it, and I’m so glad it’s now all “ta-DAH!” in the sunlight.
What’s also interesting is that the microclimate in the centre of the garden has completely changed. Last night was the first frost of the year, and although there was barely any evidence of them in the back garden last winter, the ground was frosty this morning around the crater of the tree:
Of course, now I’m no longer blocked on all the jobs that this canvas will require. More on that later. For now, we’re just trying to get used to the sheer amount of emptiness we now have to play with; to step back, and breathe: now that we’ve got room to do so!