After lunch I told my daughter I was going outside to do some digging and then prune the apple tree. Had I just said digging, I doubt she would have joined me but the moment I started on the tree, she appeared in her snow boots (no, it’s not snowing) and begged to have a go.
Never having pruned a tree myself, I was following instructions from a magazine (The Garden, published by the Royal Horticultural Society). So I wasn’t too keen on someone who knows even less about gardening lopping bits off. However, once that was done, I handed over the secateurs, so that she could prune the hawthorn bush. Obviously, it’s not just scissors which young children find alluring….
While my daughter was busy at the back of the garden, I proceeded to fill the trench I had just dug. The garden is littered with leaves from next door’s silver birches and while I understand they won’t add much in the way of nutrients to the soil, I might as well collect them up and let them condition it.
We were only out there for an hour – it is a shame that it gets dark mid-afternoon at the moment and it was getting cold – but I think we were a great mother and daughter team. The hawthorn bush still has its red berries, in spite of being chopped a little, and the apple tree will hopefully be vigorous next year.
© Helen Butt, November 2013