January 8, 2014
Wrapping The Farm In Burlap!
I am a firm believer in covering boxwood shrubs and other plants that may suffer damage from winter's frigid winds and heavy snow with burlap. This is a practice I've followed for many years and it offers tremendous peace of mind, knowing that branches won't be spayed and misshapen, or even broken from wet snow and ice. The trick is to get this task done before the elements of winter can do any harm and with our recent crazy weather patterns, this deadline is challenging! I'm happy to report that the job was successfully completed before our recent heavy snowfall and plunging temperatures. As usual, I commend my crew!
1 Last November, I showed you how the bamboo framing was erected around the English boxwood hedges.
2 One end of the bamboo was fitted into holes made in the ground and the joints where the bamboo meets were tied securely with jute twine.
3 After all the framework was completed, the next step was to begin draping the long lengths of burlap over the bamboo.
4 Burlap is purchased on industrial-size rolls and we try to reuse as much of it as possible year after year.
5 When the burlap is removed in the spring, the crew labels each piece as to where it came off of, making it easier to fit again in the autumn.
6 This project also uses many yards of jute twine and big spools are purchased.
7 For sewing, a large-eye, bent-style needle is used.
8 This is a big job and team work is essential. Chhewang worked on one area.
9 While Phurba worked on another.
10 A lot of folding and tucking is involved. In this photo, you can see last year's stitch holes and even some old twine.
11 These burlap covers act as a wind barrier and keep heavy snow from accumulating on the bushes, which can misshape and damage the boxwood. Phurba does a fine job of stitching, even while wearing work gloves!
12 Chhewang prefers the bare-handed method.
13 It's important to join the fabric securely at the top.
14 It's also important to have a pair of scissors on hand to cut the twine after knotting it.
15 Pete was in charge of anchoring the burlap to the bottom of the frame. To do so, he used these wooden strips.
16 He sandwiched the burlap between a wooden strip and a wooden stake previously pounded into the ground.
17 He screwed the wooden strip securely to the stake, causing the burlap to cozy around the boxwood.
18 Thank goodness for insulated clothing!
19 A large, round boxwood
20 The tall American boxwood can withstand harsher weather conditions than their English cousins can.
21 The American boxwood are protected from heavy snow by wrapping them with plastic netting.
22 The terrace garden just before Christmas
23 One side all tucked away
24 And the other
25 The row of standard lilacs are all covered in a similar fashion.
26 And the most amazing burlap project at the farm is the long boxwood allee that leads to the stable.