Gardening - Ropey approach to wire workBy Linda Fort
February 03, 2010
How rare it is when a job to be done in the garden does not present you with unexpected complications.
When can you ever take a textbook into the garden and find a shrub which looks anything like the illustrated example showing you how to prune it?
I have seen the correct way to run wires and vine eyes along a fence to produce a strong tense framework for supporting climbers.
But when it comes to doing it yourself, something always gets in the way – not having the right tools more often than not.
The snow brought down a group of climbers and shrubs on two fence panels outside my kitchen window and on Sunday morning I set about sorting them out.
In their midst was a large cotoneaster with spreading branches across the entire width which made it impossible to approach the central fence post.
As a result, I was reduced to hurling the ball of wire from one side of the collapsed display to the other.
Fortunately the central supporting pins were still in place. If they had not been I would have been forced to cut some of it down to the ground to get into the middle.
As it was I could cut the wire to length then return to the other side and feed the long waving end through the central loop, then return to the far side, catch it and secure it.
No textbook ever described that method and nor it should.
The reason I did it that way and did not cut the lot to the ground was that in among the cotoneaster branches wound a very pretty clematis with claret coloured flowers. It could be called ‘Etoile Violet’ but the name in my book has the ominous words “I think” after it so it is probably called something quite different. Certainly I would not describe the colour as violet.
After the wire was established I then had to reattach the weighty jumble to the fence. The first few ties bore an enormous strain until I was able to get it reattached across its width.
Underneath it all was a Fatsia japonica, leaning drunkenly towards the ground which will probably need support for the rest of its days.
However, the overall effect is not too bad although a little tangled.
My only hope now is that the delicate twiggy stems of the clematis have not been snapped in the tussle.
If they have, I shall be treated to the pleasure of watching them die off over the next few weeks.
The best part of the job was spotting the little green buds and shoots all over the garden reminding me that spring is just round the corner.