Before And After: The Weeping Birch Bed

Aaron came to work this morning. He took out the last remaining tree stump from the lawn; cleaned the pipes and windows at the front of the house; and reset the post at the side gate which had come adrift.

Virginia Creeper and hops on Gothic Arch

The Virginia Creeper mingling with rose hips on the Gothic Arch, with the yellowing birch leaves in the background, are still about the only climatic signs of autumn.

I did further work on the album of progress in the garden, making the following prints:

Brambly bed

On 12th June 2014 the Weeping Birch Bed was somewhat overgrown. Note the bramble.

Bamboo arches in

The next day, I began assembling the golden arches in an attempt to support passion flower and honeysuckle.

Jackie working on Weeping Birch bed 1Jackie working on weeping birch bed 2

By September 2015 it was clear something had to be done about it, so Jackie set to.

Weeping Birch bed 1

This is what it looks like today. Note the three separate supports which have replaced the golden arches. This is because the two rambling plants mentioned above actually originated further into the bed. As now expected, there was much rock and concrete buried therein, and Jackie discovered that a good half of the bed was very shallow, having been laid on the concrete that covered the far south of the garden. As usual this has been recycled as stepping stones and edging.

Weeping Birch Bed 2

This up to date view takes us across the Heligan Path and through the Cryptomeria Bed towards the house.

As the light faded whilst we sat in the rose garden with our pre-dinner drinks, the mosquitos probably attracted the bats flitting across our vision. This was an opportunity for me to tell Jackie the story of the pipistrelles.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious chicken jalfrezi, special fried rice, and naan from the Co-op, followed by egg custard. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Parra Alta malbec 2015.


  1. I enjoyed your pipistrelles story. Last year, a small bat got into my house and was flying around exciting my dog and cats. I don’t know how it got in, given that I had no open windows without screens. I hypothesized it came, or fell, down the chimney into the cold fireplace. I shut lights and opened screens on windows so it would leave, but as you say, it was disconcerting to be in the darkened house with a bird flying around. Eventually it found its way out.

  2. That garden path is so lovely! And with all the work you have done, a well-deserved drink.

    1. Oh now! I was just about to say the same thing Bianca – it won’t be long and the garden will be featuring in all kinds of mags and calendars too no doubt. We can say we predicted that 🙂

  3. I am really enjoying your before and after photographs. So often we don’t realise the work that goes behind great gardens (though you have logged your contribution in detail haha). Btw I noticed that some of my comments in past posts never made it onto your blog. Not sure if they’re your gremlins or mine.

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