Tuesday, 11 May 2010

big little twig

http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden10/twigoutgrow.JPGMy designer twig continues to power on with another set of new growth coming in now.  It's come so far since it was delivered in December 2008!  But as you can see, it's starting to look a bit too large for its pot.  The problem is I don't have a lot of room for another big pot!  It's pretty much at the point where it would want a half-wine-barrel sized pot but I don't think one would even fit on the porch.

Luckily at about the same time I was looking to dig out an old stump.  Along the front path (at the end of the row of birches and plums) there used to be a big hebe bush.  We cut it down last year because it was growing out into the path.  And I finally got tired of looking at the stump and wasting the space.  So I started to dig around it and hacking through a mat of roots ... before I got this surprise!

http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden10/hebestump1.JPGWhoever planted the hebe didn't even bother to take it out of the pot.  Now you might do that for something like a fig tree if you wanted to keep the size under control.  But for something like a hebe I can't imagine it was anything but laziness.

Add to that the horrible quality of the soil.  Starting from the surface, there's a layer of organic matter from decomposed leaves, then a thick mat of roots (since the hebe roots had nowhere to go but up and out!).  Under that mat the soil was bone-dry (despite decent rains in the last month) and builder's-dust-dead.  There were chunks of brick, concrete, glass, rusted metal, bits of tile and the occasional nail.

http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden10/hebestump2.JPGThe plastic pot was a blessing in disguise because once I cut the roots I was able to leverage the pot out of the ground.  Notice how the roots weren't able to grow out from the bottom, perhaps because the soil down that far was so rubbish.  You can just see how at the top of the photo the soil's fairly dark and "living" but at the bottom it's pale and dry.

In any case, I still think this is the best new home for my designer twig.  I've piled on rich black compost and some of the soil I bought a few weeks ago and dug it in.  In a week or two I'll put the twig in its new home and hope it thrives!


PaperTree Designs said...

Funny. Our entire back yard was concrete (which we dug up to plant a garden) and under the dirt we are still finding treasures (old bottles, roof tiles, bricks, etc).