Saturday 24 November 2012

Bolton Percy churchyard winter wind-down

Six months ago, I made my monthly visit to Bolton Percy and found the churchyard completely transformed! Eighteen very large trees on an adjacent property had been chopped down. Absolutely wonderful, a fifty meter stretch of dense dry shade had disappeared. What an opportunity for new planting - all that sunshine and future moisture. The visual structure of the cemetery was completely changed. I am now quite disorientated on my monthly spray-round.
Over the cemetery fence, the mushroom remains of  a 20 meter high tree

Many gardeners mistakenly imagine that a dehydrated piece of land where old trees have grown, will be impoverished. Not so, and with all that lovely leaf-mould, it has been a great opportunity to introduce new plants. It has been so wet this year that on each visit I have been able to scatter seed and pop in plants. No dig gardeners always rush out to plant in wet weather!
No time to sit and ponder.

Two weeks ago, I took about a dozen divisions of herbaceous perennials and ‘gifts’ of seed heads from my other gardens. This time it was aquilegia, Viola cornuta alba, comellina and nigella. I just scatter the seed rich debris, nothing else.

A fifty year unmarked grave. Someone has been remembered by a newly planted rose
This is the time I use my petrol hedge trimmer to start to chop down, shred and scatter herbaceous tops. I do not cut down until a plant has no beauty left to offer. Seed heads of Sedum spectabilis will remain until March. I realize my shredding technique is unsuitable for most small gardens, but I do recommend the hedge trimmer for cutting back herbaceous perennials. It is both quick and tidy. Gardeners will dispose of the dead tops in their own preferred way. Hopefully it will not be in the green bin!

My only help.
She scratched and weeded 
in the moss all morning!
I was pleased to find very few weeds this time - just a few patches of hairy bittercress, epilobium and annual meadow grass. Now that many plants are dormant and some cut to the ground, I can quickly spray in less accessible places. Within the hour, an acre of garden was glyphosate-weeded.

I have recently stumbled on this lovely post about Bolton Percy village. It also contains mention of my cemetery garden.


  1. What a lively project. Does the chicken live there permanently

  2. He is often there, err sorry, 'she'. Or it might be a sister. I have e mailed a villager who lives in an adjacent house to ask if it is hers!


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