Tag Archive: strimmer


WP_20151112_14_20_33_ProThe ‘dynamic duo’ of Peter and I continued with strimming the avenues and connecting paths in the outer gardens at Blickling this week.

I arrived to find the gardeners and Peter gathered around a large, new trailer which had just been delivered. I later looked this over and had an interesting discussion about its features and how useful an addition it was going to be to the gardeners’ armoury….

Hmm...big, shiny, but how useful?

Hmm…big, shiny….

The ladies, meanwhile were finishing off cutting back and clearing the double borders, which only a few weeks ago had been resplendent in their late summer colours.

Cutting back the double borders on a beautiful autumn day

Cutting back the double borders on a beautiful autumn day

Having adjusted the belt on the strimmer I found I was really getting into my stride (or should I say ‘swing’?) with this useful machine- it was rather like old-time scything but without the muscle power needed for that. However, it was sweaty work clearing around trees and the edges of shrubs  where the mowers can’t reach.

After lunch I had an interesting chat with gardener Ed and Peter about the way the avenues of Beech, Oak and other trees have to be regularly cleared of fast-growing understorey trees and shrubs such as holly, yew and rhododendrons. The impact of letting these plants over grow the trees was evident in the bent over trunks of some examples (or ‘on the huh’ as we say in Norfolk!).

The maintenance plan involves every year or so stooling (or coppicing) these vigourous plants and so maintaining  space around the avenue trees. As Ed pointed out, there are some clear examples of where action is going to be required in the near future, so perhaps Peter and I will be moved on to chain saws soon!

Blickling has a new website, why not take a look at the link below?

A virtually deserted garden at a sun-scanned Blickling..

A virtually deserted garden at a sun-scanned Blickling..

Further Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener

 

WP_20151105_12_20_46_ProMore strimming this week in my short session at Blickling.

The ladies were whisked away to pull up the Penstemons for over wintering and to make way for next spring’s display of Hyacinths.

WP_20151105_12_29_36_ProFellow volunteer Peter and I were sent to the wider gardens where the grass had been mown a few days before, but where the mower couldn’t go, we were to strim away the long grass around tree trunks and edges etc. There are several avenues of beech and other trees radiating away form the more formal gardens area and we worked our way along and around these.

As I’ve reported before, these strimmers are pretty strong and use a plastic-sheathed metal cord which is quite capable of cutting through pretty thick stems as well as grass. We were mindful of this and were careful not to go too near the trunks of the trees for fear of ‘ring-barking’ them, which causes wounds that are open to disease and rot.

WP_20151105_12_21_22_ProThe Hall has now closed for the winter (apart from special events and group visits) and the gardens are on shorter opening hours. The last colour of flower has now pretty much disappeared and the focus in the gardens is on cutting down, pulling out, dividing and mulching in preparation for winter.

Further Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener

 

WP_20151008_12_52_21_ProAfter just a few minutes weeding (in the Orangery Garden once more), Ed (one of the gardeners at Blickling) asked me if I’d like a change of role- to help Peter continue strimming (or ‘Whipper Snipping’ as they say in Australia).

I was easy either way, so went with him to be briefed on the safe use of a rather good strimmer, and to receive my safety mask and ear protectors. So far so good. The cord used in these machines is seriously tough (I think it is a metal cable sheathed in plastic), so will cut through some thick stems if needed.

You  might recall from my previous session that Peter had started to clear alongside the boundary hedge between the gardens and wider estate, some of which is set in the bottom of a ha ha (ditch). The idea was to clear a path alongside this hedge so that it can be easily trimmed. I began a stretch beside the Orangery and was soon impressed with the cutting power of the machine. However, I soon discovered that, strong though it is, the cable cutter was no match for the wire fence alongside the path and so I was left with a short length of cable!

It took a good few minutes to replace this (not before returning it to the workshop and putting the machine in a vice to enable the very short length of cable that remained to be pulled through and replaced).

It had been some time since I’d used a strimmer, but it soon became relatively easy – notwithstanding that the gap I was working in tapered dangerously close to a barbed wire fence (necessitating a diversion) and there were some thick saplings of sycamore and other species that had punched their way up through and alongside the hedge and required pruning off with secateurs. Still, I completed a reasonable stretch before ending for the day. There was also time for a quick look at the double borders, which maintain their floral splendour..

Oh, and just out of interest, the Urban Dictionary refers to Whipper- Snipping somewhat differently:

‘A snippet is a brief quotable passage. People who think in snippets are called ‘whipper-snippers.’

Women have a greater propensity to hear snippets and deduce from them because they have conversational skills that men don’t have and men tend to internalize and think about things differently.

While driving in a car:

Man: Oh! There’s that trading firm. I made millions off of them.

Woman: Williams!? What is that!? Williams!? Williams!? What is that!?!

Man: Williams!? What is Williams!? I said millions, ‘whipper-snipper.’ Where do you get ‘williams’ from ‘millions’ talking about a trading firm!?’

Further Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener

 

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