All Change Please

Firstly sorry there is no the Slope on Thursday this week.  There was torrential rain all day yesterday and it has continued all this morning; I’m kicking myself as on Wednesday there was a wonderful heavy frost and I should have taken lots of photos then instead I was intent on sowing tomato seeds – probably far, far too many but hey, I like the reliable ones I know but also plant to try some new ones as well.

The weather since I wrote the last post about the slope has been mostly wet except for last Friday when the forecast was for rain all day and it turned out sunny with a blue sky all day – Who’d trust the forecasters?  The range of temperatures for the week has been large from minus 2°C to about plus 15°C, in the greenhouse the high was 29°C but with the sun on the glass the temperature soon rises, so that would have been with the door open and the roof lights open but the days when has been wet and grey with lower temperatures the door was shut.

Last week I asked you why the view was different looking up the slope.  Several of you were nearly right but the answer is I (well not actually me personally) moved the olive that was in front of the greenhouse.

I’ve been waiting for some time for the contractors to come and prune the Leylandii; eventually they took about one and a half metres off the top, which has opened up the view from the first floor windows and allows me to see as far as the sea in one direction and the town of Montefiascone in the other with lots of nice trees in the distance in between.

Beginning to remove the pine

Beginning to remove the pine

Most of the branches gone

Most of the branches gone

Just the stump and the roots left

Just the stump and the roots left

Dark sky and bright sun before the rain

Dark sky and bright sun before the rain

The pine put up a long fight before it could be pulled from the ground

The pine put up a long fight before it could be pulled from the ground

Ignoble end to the pine

Ignoble end to the pine

I also made up my mind to remove the Leylandii from just past the greenhouse to the corner of the garden about 10 trees.  I don’t need the Leylandii here to protect from the north and east winds and we should now, hopefully, be able to see the sun setting in summer.  I so enjoy seeing it in winter and it would be nice to enjoy it in summer while sitting on the terrace with a nice glass of wine!

You can see where the Leylandii have been removed

You can see where the Leylandii have been removed

The other tree I wanted to remove is the umbrella pine, so the end of the line, hence the title of this post!  I know it is such a strong feature of the garden and typical of the Rome area but it a problem because of its needles falling and covering all the plants underneath.  It wasn’t large as these pines usually are; when they are full grown nothing grows under them at all.  So it has gone and the olive is now in its place.  This particular olive has never given us many olives, being a different variety to the others; the olives should have been large for eating rather than for oil.

Lifting the olive

Lifting the olive

When they dug up the olive they found it had been planted much too deep.  Everybody says that you should dig a hole at least a metre by a metre by a metre.  Yes this is true but then you need to back-fill with good soil so that the tree can be planted at the same depth as it was in the pot or ground if it was field grown.  It is planted to right depth now so hopefully it will actually grow better.  It will need watering regularly for a couple of years because it is a mature tree.

I won’t plant things close to it while it is re-establishing but there does seem to be some space I could put some more Irises which I think would look right.

Lowering hte olive into its new home

Lowering the olive into its new home

The other opportunity moving the olive has given me is to add three new raised vegetable beds, away from the roots of the Leylandii and in full sun.  I’m actually really hoping to use one for cut flowers so any suggestions of what I should sow or plant will be gratefully accepted.

I decided to link this in with Helen’s end of the month meme where you can read about what others are working on in their gardens, thanks Helen.

Have you begun any major projects this year?  Why not share them with us via this meme.

36 thoughts on “All Change Please

  1. Goodness big changes but for the better. I think the iris leaves will look wonderful by the olive. Thanks for joining in with the meme

  2. That certainly is a big change and so cleverly done without too much damage. An expert wielding huge tools is a joy to watch and I’m sure your olive tree will be happy in its new home with you to look after it.

    • They were very skilful; there was more of a problem of knowing where to put all the soil that had to be removed to get out all the roots of the pine, hopefully everything is intact, I really hope the olive does survive, they are known to transplant well but it is about 25 years old.

  3. It’s always sad to see a mature tree go but I think that lovely olive will be perfect for the spot. As for the Leylandii- you will be glad to lose those and have a view instead. Wow, what big projects, Christina. How exciting. As for the rain- we are all growing fins here.

    • For sure Leylandii aren’t something I would have planted myself but they were here, doing a reasonable job of protecting the garden from the cold winter winds so I left them but the ones I’ve had removed aren’t necessary so I’m happy to remove them and use their wood as fuel for the oven.

  4. Looks like a major operation. Hope the olive adapts to its new home easily. What a sense of accomplishment your must feel by opening up these views and planting areas. No big changes on my horizon this year, just taking it day-to-day for a while.

    • I’ve been thinking about these changes almost since we moved here. I didn’t to be sure I didn’t need the Leylandii for protection but I love the views that have been opened up.

  5. structural changes to the backbone of the garden, I hope the olive thrives and good to hear you are putting the removed wood to good use, nice to add to veg beds but sorry I don’t know enough to recommend cut flowers, I’m sure there will be others who do though, Frances

    • When I look through images of the garden so many feature the pine so it will look very different but I already like the feel of the olive it is somehow more in scale with the garden and the pine was growing frighteningly quickly.

  6. How exciting to be able to make such big planting changes, it must have been nerve wracking to watch your Olive being moved. And especially lovely to plan an evening with the sun setting in view. We started to build a new greenhouse last year, then I changed my mind and have decided to turn that part into a cutting garden. So far my choices include Ammis major, Calendula and Euphorbia oblongata. Its actually the most excitement I have felt for a new area for a very long time – I’m looking forward to running free with annuals and experimenting with colours, without the pressure of planting within a cohesive border.

  7. The olive should look good in its new spot, especially if planting it to the correct depth will now enable it to flourish. It sounds like you were working with experts, I’d be nervous about moving such a mature tree otherwise. I hope it does well.

    • Olives are usually easy to move. They are tough, otherwise I wouldn’t have attempted it. I also know that I will keep watering it, whereas others might not keep it up for long enough.

  8. How exciting Christina, new views, new planting opportunities, possibly good eating olives now that the olive roots won’t be struggling as much because planted too deep. Welly Woman’s book would no doubt provide lots of inspiration for your cut flower patch, but if you are enriching the soil with e.g. lots of manure would dahlias work? I plan to grow snapdragons, cornflowers in blue and dark red, scabious, cosmos, zinnias, and of course sweet peas. Your garden gets so hot in summer, I suspect you will want to stick to arrid-loving types? I fell for arctotis, prolific flowers which reminded me of South Africa, and apparently they rather relish a drought…

  9. We may be having very wet weather in the UK, Christina, but at least we don’t have your variation in temperatures to contend with. You seem really pleased with your tree decisions – although your contractors don’t look specially safety conscious! I do hope your olive settles down and survives its move and I look forward to seeing how your new opportunities pan out.

  10. One is sometimes reluctant to tackle a big project like removing or moving a mature tree but in the end it’s usually worth it. Well done, Christina. Are you actually staying in that place for good? Is it for work that you moved to Italy? Have a nice weekend 🙂

  11. How exciting: opening up views, moving trees, that is good stuff for a garden! I have marked several small trees for my husband to cut down before spring. That means he had better do it soon! Other trees have large limbs that need to be removed because they are overshadowing or running into other plants. So much to do! Enjoy your sunsets!

  12. Planting trees too deep seems like such a common error. On my street we have lost two maples on the parkway because the city hired contractors who planted everything too deep. As to your trees, I always feel we should get rid of plants that aren’t making us happy.

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