Ash, Whichever Way You Look at It.

Collecting fuel for our annual family bonfire this morning. Collect it the day before building it. Light on the day it’s built. Hedgehog friendly. Some heavier stuff for the heat and tokeep the fire going. Some light kindling – to get it started. Good to be out and walking, noticing the fungus, the high wheeling gulls and autumn birdsong. Newly arrived migrants announcing their arrival perhaps.

But also scraping up piles of leaves for the allotment.  I suddenly notice that all of the leaves I am pushing into the big plastic bag (once held compost from the allotment shop) are ash leaves.

My, my, my, how the tree profile here has changed I realise. In former years there would have been mostly alder (now past their prime and into slow decline), oak (nowadays seeming to hold the dry brown foliage until spring winds sweep it down) and the ubiquitous sycamore (still here with gorgeous flaming yellow leaves still pinned onto branch and twig).

My grandfather planted the one in the wood near to where I am working. It was a small sapling he rescued from the walled garden at the hall. Now it is quite mature. So much so that it’s own seeds have spread, germinated, grown and are now scattering the leaves, complete with feather-quill like stems. The leaves, from the edge of the country lane are damp and muddy (so should decompose quickly when added to the three meter diameter wire “cage” I have rigged up on our plot. I will add them to the apple, pear, rowan and lime leaves that came – four weeks ago – from our back lawn. The weather will break it down to make a good leaf mould – no nutrients but good for soil structure and adding beneficial micro organisms.

Coincidentally, the national news is talking about a fungal infection that is fatal to ash trees spreading (apparently from continental Europe) into East Anglia. Trade and global warming may be putting an end to the trees that I think of as native British – and, while change is change and quite necessary, I hope some of these fine trees will survive in our landscape.

Practically I also collect some of the windblown branches of these trees for the fire, long straight whippy branches that will be good to get it lit.

“Ash seer or ash green

Makes a fire fit for a queen. “

(Ash which, incidentally, I also plan to collect to add to the ground at the allotment.)




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

The Good Life Crewe

Adventures in the life of an English allotment


Garden Blog of the Year 2016

Allotment Life

Welcome to my world: digging, harvesting and other stuff

How to Provide

for your family

Crockern Farm

The evolution of an old farmhouse, an American woman, an Englishman and their dog.

Green lights ahead

If you could go anywhere you wanted, where would you be headed right now?


boots of salt and plow blades


blowing through the cobwebs of my mind

Milenanik3's Blog

Just another weblog

Karina Pinella

Writing the Wrong, Right, and Ridiculous

tea & paper

... it's all about feelings ...


Life after the Care Farm

The Cynical Gardener

The most Dangerous plant to sleep under is the water lilly


Local History for Great Wyrley and Surrounding Areas

The Renegade Press

Tales from the mouth of a wolf

lone sea-breaker

introspection & reflection, poetry & prose

%d bloggers like this: