December 14, 2009
Preparing the farm for the dead of winter
As you may know, I am a firm believer in protecting my hedges with a burlap covering during the cold of winter. Winter can be very damaging to evergreen shrubs and I feel it essential to wrap them and keep them safe from the elements. The burlap does a great job of keeping off heavy snow and ice, which is notorious for breaking branches. But it also serves as a protective barrier against windburn. In addition to all of this, a burlap covering will deter deer and other hungry critters. On my farm, burlapping is always a big project and I feel that Shaun and his crew are doing a fine job. Please enjoy these photos.
1 This is the bamboo framework over the boxwoods surrounding the peony bed.
2 Chhewang is using a heavy metal spike to make holes in the ground.
3 The holes need to be quite deep so that the burlap-covered bamboo frame will withstand heavy winds.
4 The bamboo pole is secured in the hole.
5 Jute twine is used to tie the poles together.
6 A crosspiece of bamboo is attached to the tops of the 'teepees.'
7 Any excess is removed with a hand saw.
8 The excess is taken to the compost area.
9 The tree peony garden is surrounded with a burlap windscreen.
10 The ground is covered with a thick layer of mulch to protect the soil from heaving.
11 I decided that the terrace knot garden needed a burlap covering this year.
12 This was a rather complex project that required a lot of cutting and fastening.
13 They even used screws to hold part of the frame together.
14 The joints were carefully tied with twine.
15 Did I say complex?
16 Once the framework was complete, it was time to cover it with burlap. Here is a boxwood hedge getting its winter protection.
17 Chhewang is using a large needle to sew the burlap onto the frame.
18 Back at the knot garden, Shaun and his crew are busy with their needles. As you can see, snow has already fallen.
20 and knotting
21 I think the guys are great with their needles!
22 A staple gun is also used for this project.
23 One section complete.
24 I admit, It's a bit odd looking, but I think it will do the trick.
25 The peony hedge is neatly covered.
26 As are these hedges.
27 And now for the allée of boxwood down near the stables.