BY ANNE CHAMBERS
We had a wonderful Christmas with all the family and grandson Jack seemed to adore the lights on the Christmas tree! Over the weekend before Christmas the boys cleared the scrappy trees and the old fence at the end of the field where the new statue is located. Luckily it was dry and fairly mild so we were able to have an enormous bonfire which burnt for several days.
The second dump of snow after Christmas combined with the wind from storm Eleanor caused as much damage as the earlier snowfall and we are needing to have a large bonfire for all the branches and debris.
It is horrifying to see how much damage has been done but we are gradually clearing and the tree surgeons are on site sorting out all the broken limbs and branches.
Snowdrops are beginning to appear and the hamamelis is in full flower.
I will soon be pruning the very old rose Pax in the White Sunk garden and the Felicia roses as they are already showing their first buds. However the weather is unpredictable and having had a mild spell we are due some cold nights and stormy winds.
We have been assessing the banks now that we have lost so many shrubs and trees with the snow. The biggest sadness is the enormous arbutus unedo which must have been planted by my grandmother and was very statuesque against the skyline. There is a large area to re-plant below the Terrace and we are busy deciding what new plants to try on this dry area. As you look down the steep bank I feel it is important to have some height but am always conscious that whatever we put there must not get out of proportion in years to come and block out the view which has now been created. Before that, however, new timbers or sleepers will have to be installed so that fresh soil can go in to replace years of erosion.
We have Jack’s christening in ten days time at Ebrington church. A full house with all the godparents and relations to celebrate. It is the same church where Clare and David got married and also Clare christened all those years ago!