Category Archives: Green woodwork

My day job.

Half a hedge is better than too much

SAMSUNG CSCI’ve been laying the hawthorn hedge at the bottom of our garden.  This is a management method to fill in the bottom of a hedge and control the height.  I layed it 18 years ago and the bottoms of the oak 2 x 2 stakes have rotted away – but they’re only needed for the first couple of years to keep the cut hedge in place while the new growth comes on.

This is what it looks like before laying (you may be able to make out the remains of the old layer in the bottom of the hedge):

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That’s the new workshop towering over the garden. Just needs windows, doors, plumbing and electrician. Waney-edge green oak cladding, and then fitting out by Joe Soap.

It’s with a little regret that I’m getting rid of the bobbles that are reminiscent of guardsmen in bearskin hats (or ‘busbies‘).  My father served in the Coldstream Guards, but never wore a bearskin I fear, he was too busy driving around in the Italian mountains in a bren gun carrier.  However, it is rather a teetery job, standing on the top step of a tall pair of steps to trim them and I’m not getting any younger, and down they must come.  I left the bobbles last time.  Once layed it looks like this:

SAMSUNG CSCNew hazel stakes from Wood Nook and hazel binders to hold the top down too.  The uprights are cut about 7/8th through and then bent over.  As some of the bark and wood is left on the pleachers carry on growing in their new position.  The pleachers are woven around the stakes.  The material was a little sparse at the left so I’m weaving in a bit of hazel to make out until the regrowth gets going.  I think that, while it would win no prizes at a hedge laying competition, it is stock proof and will keep the sheep out.

Look what turned up in the ashes.

SAMSUNG CSCThis came from the sycamore logs I obtained a couple of years ago from along the road, when a big tree was taken down.  This must have been embedded in one of them.  No sign of it from the outside.  What do you think it is?

The results of the skep making at East Riddlesden Hall are in:

skep making 2015

Yes Linda, although you’re but small, you were obviously just too big for your skep!

It was a good course.  Bring on the swarming season – not until May :-(  .

Bee skep making

 

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(It was a lot darker than this – it’s a barn.  More like this:

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I’m just back from a bee skep making session.  As you can see this is very concentrated work.  These are all members of the association I belong to Airedale Bee Keepers Association.  This was taken at about half time, the floor got much messier than that.

Here’s my workstation.

SAMSUNG CSCFor the tricky start at the top the straw had to have been soaked for 24 hours, and the binding cane is just soaked for half an hour.  The needle is included in the very reasonable £20 for the whole course, including the session still to come in February.  By the end on the session I was just starting to turn down the corners and start building the walls.  But at half-time it looked like this:

SAMSUNG CSCThis will be jolly useful for taking swarms, should any appear this Summer.

 

Here’s what we’re aiming for:

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