Life Cycles

Back in 1955, when my father bought the three farms at the heart of the Staunton Harold Estate, he also acquired two of the drives leading into it.  Five years later, when I was first married and living at the thatched cottage on the Coach Road, I planted a few trees, including sycamores and oaks on the verge opposite Ashby Lodge.

The Hall had been bought by Leonard Cheshire and formed the largest of his Cheshire Homes.  It soon became the main user of the drives, with fund raising events which brought in thousands of people.  The drives were a drawback, gravelled and badly pot-holed, so after a few years the Cheshire Home bought them from us for £5 and laid tarmac, much of it gifted.

Fast forward fifty years and our family own the drives again, included in the sale of the Hall.  Meanwhile my trees have been growing and those opposite the Lodge, which are on the south side, are cutting out much of the light. So, just before Christmas we cut three sycamores down.  The largest is wide enough to cut some planks which we’ll offer to the Gardener’s Bothy – the clean white wood will make cheese boards or furniture.

And I’ll plant again, but this time a selection of shrubs which will not grow so high.  My last bulletin was called ‘The law of unintended consequences’ – maybe this one should have the same title?