Free from composting frazzle

IMAGENAMEHEREFor the first few years of HoBB Real, grass cuttings were composted separately from the kitchen waste. We tried to keep some composting seed free and had special composting areas for weeds, seeds, sticks and branches.

In the turning of these and continual shifting about of rotted matter, we soon became exhausted so started to build composting piles where we wanted the compost to stay and left it to breakdown without tuning it. This promoted earthworm action and trickle fed each area chosen.

As so much is piled up on these mixed compost heaps very little ever seeds or takes root. As the vegetation break down and the earthworm count rises, we attract snails and moles. The snails are harvested and the digger moles regulate the earthworm population buy turning over the soil terrifically!

We have about fourteen of these compost heaps spread around the HoBB Gardens saving the initial walks to amalgamate the compost material and the eventual walks to distribute the finished compost.

Enriched waves ~~~~~~~~~~~ <+))))))))>< ~~~ Grant

Holly Berries and Hollywood Balls

Holly Berries and Hollywood BallsEach Christmas, we produce a good crop of Holly berries. We go down to the local pre-Christmas Mistletoe and Holly Markets at Tenbury Wells because we have no Mistletoe here at the HoBB to accompany the berries.

The Holly trees are not coppiced and provide shelter and winter browse for the sheep.

But can anyone tell me what causes the lumps (see picture) on our Holly Tree trunks? If so, please contact me and I’ll log it here.

These ball shapes come in all sizes and don’t seem to be of any concern to the tree. If you break them off and cut them in half, they just look like a ball of Hollywood. ( Thought : Does anyone in India have the same balls on their Bolly Trees?)

We have fourteen holly trees (all are Ilex aquifolium ) and some of them are probably 300 years old. Most are naturally leggy and the frequent haunt of wood pigeons. Only a few of them grow these great nodule forms on their trunks ranging in size from a small pea to a large golf ball.

Waves from an inquisitive Hollywood ball onlooker
~~~~~~~~ <+))))))))>< ~~~ Grant