Hedging our bets

It all started with a visit to Greywalls Hotel, near the famous Muirfield Golf Course in East

imageLothian.  During a pre-luncheon amble around the Gertrude Jekyll-designed walled gardens, we discovered a series of ‘rooms’ enclosed by 6’ high dark green holly (Ilex) hedges. Simply planted with cherry trees in grass with a central feature of ferns and a small sculpture, taste and simplicity were the order of the day, giving us some ideas for our new grassed areas in the walled garden.

Filled with inspiration, we returned home and immediately looked up the price of young holly plants only to have our Jekyll-inspired hopes dashed by the eye-watering price tag for the large quantities required…

…until last weekend when the Good Lady (motivated by her last appearance in the ‘Compost Heap’ episode) stepped out armed with an elderly but razor-sharp pair of Felcos to herald the imminent arrival of the Festive Season, beating the birds to some berry-laden raw materials for her future  holly wreathes and garlands.

imageAt this point, as I recalled that November is the traditional month for hardwood cuttings, the ghostly form of Gertrude re-appeared! Time will tell whether the advanced guard of 40 holly cuttings, now lined out in our vegetable bed, strike. We’ll know this time next year…

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