A Garden Project.

As many of you know I have a part of my garden which I fondly call ‘the wild bit’. It’s the dingle dell, fairy ferny kingdom where I walk and linger to think and sometimes hide! It’s on a slope and in spring reveals a carpet of wild flowers and bulbs which are illuminated in the dappled shade. At the base of the slope lies the pond and recently I have been investigating having it dredged and re-lined with clay to help maintain the water levels and encourage more wildlife. Two large oaks overhang the pond, one of which is leaning precariously close to the house, so the first step towards the ponds rejuvenation is to take down the said oak.



It goes without saying that I haven’t taken that decision lightly, mature oak trees are beautiful, and provide shelter and homes for a host of animals but sometimes tough choices have to be made in the garden.

Then, I had an idea.

The top area of the ‘wild bit’ is full of ferns which have naturalised despite the sometimes dry conditions there.


It’s a restful place to sit year round being slightly in a hollow surrounded by other exposed tree stumps and roots.



So why not add a loggery there with various different widths and sizes of logs partly buried in the ground to make a wave of log top seats? In between the logs I can plant other ferns such as the Maidenhair fern, Adiantum jordanii, and the Hart’s tongue fern, Asplenium scolopendrium, along with shade loving plants. I watched Chris Beardshaw’s clip about creating a stumpery using logs. Fresh logs are also ideal for growing your own Chanterelle mushrooms. Dowel plugs can be knocked into wood and left covered for 6 months for the mycelium to start it’s magic. The oak will also provide lots of wood chips which could be used to surround the loggery and for other places in the garden. Perhaps the felling of the tree could provide a habitat for the endangered Stag Beetle:


Looking up to the loggery area:



Looking down on the area:


Naturalised ferns:


So tomorrow is the big day for the tree surgeons to come, any thoughts and suggestions about this idea from anyone would be much appreciated. Thank you!


38 Responses

  1. gertie says:

    Save a few acorns to replant perchance Hayley? :scratch:

  2. Hayley says:

    Good thinking Anne :good: I suspect the squirrels have done a bit of that already! :yes:

  3. Allan says:

    Looks good already Hayl,You can only enhance it by dropping the oak and leaving the log on the ground, You could use the trimmed branches for a hideaway for hedgehogs and wildlife,Have a ten mil drill and drill holes in the log,It will attract different bees too nest.

  4. Jenn says:

    A loggery would be great Hayley – how about adding add a fire pit?

  5. mick1970 says:

    what a lovely area you have…….i want to make a seating point in certain parts of the garden then siteing it on a tree trunk patio sunk in the lawn

  6. gibbon says:

    thoes oak trees do not look old in the world of trees, it has a trific root system, did you know that there are more in number and diversity of insects than any other tree, it proberly took 20 to 30years to get to the size they are now and if left they will be there for atleast another hundred years,I would never cut down sutch a young and beutefull tree, for any reason, you are lucky to have both of them,, wood man spair that tree, PLEASE, :yes:

    • Hayley says:

      The decision was not made lightly Cliff and my intention is to leave in situ as much as I can to help balance the ecosystem.

      • gibbon says:

        I belive that Hayle’ but if posable could not get the stump cut into an owl or somthing they do it with chane saws and they are lovely,benches are ten a peny,there are lots of carved anamals around hear I would love one, :rose:

  7. AliCat says:

    Looking & sounding good Hayley :good:
    It is sad to remove trees, but the safety of yourself and the house has to be the priority :yes:
    The important thing is to keep the wildlife balance and let nature have its own way in a few places and have some creature comforts of your own…… the fire-pit sounds fab :good:

    • gibbon says:

      the root system of an oak tree is as big as the tree its self’ the house is not in any danger from the tree,if left alone it will be there longe after the house has gone,if it were a realy old tree there would be a presavation order on it,they have to be very old befor they become a danger no matter how itis leaning,and we or our grand children will not live longe enough to see it fall down, :yes:

    • Hayley says:

      Couldn’t agree more Ali, behind this oak is another fortunately so still plenty of scope for wildlife to flourish. :good:

  8. gibbon says:

    very cleaver Dix,but not a patch on the liveing oak tree,
    I wish that I could ever see a poem as lovely as a tree, a nest of robins in her hair, and the line she lifts her leafe arm to pray, come on are we gardners with a love of the soil and all that grows in it,or do we think that we know better than natuer :scratch:

  9. bizzylizzy says:

    great link dix :good: good idea’s there :yes: like jenn’s idea off a fire pit to :good: , can’t wait to see what you do Hayley :yes:

  10. karenp says:

    Yes it’s a shame you have to take down the oak, but as said before collect some acorns then at least you could then plant another tree later, but do like the idea of a loggery and definitely a fire pit :good:

    • Hayley says:

      I think the squirrels got there before me Karen as I have baby oaks everywhere along with some much larger ones too. Just need to sort the logs now and move them to the loggery site. Now, that could be challenging :whistle:

  11. Hi Hayley :-) it’s always sad to take down a tree but you say you have 2 oaks and only want to remove the leaning one – there has to be management and as you say, you’re providing other habitats – I would’ve been horrified if you were just going to burn it all :wacko: You could leave some of the stump if you hadn’t already decided to. The fairies will love to play there :rose:

  12. Beanstew says:

    All the best people make stumperies (or loggeries), and you have a marvellous setting for it which Highgrove would find difficult to better. It will be entirely in keeping with “the wild bit”, and we are all looking forward to watching how you develop it – and as others have mentioned, it will provide multiple habitats for those displaced.

  13. Bill says:

    “It’s the dingle dell, fairy ferny kingdom”, If you have a problem finding any fairies I would suggest a stroll around the Medway Ports late at night, you will find plenty. ! :wacko:

    Looks a lovely area Hayley.

  14. gibbon says:

    we have a wood were I used to live,allways full of faires, the police had a tough job moveing them on ,people got that way that they would not walk in the woods :lol:

  15. shedsue says:

    Oh Its very sad when a tree has to be felled, whatever the reason :cry: but I am sure you will do what all good gardeners do …and somehow recycle it :good: ..The stump could be used as a bird bath, (with a bit of imagination) the logs for insects, Hedgehogs etc …I am sure you have thought of a million thingsl H…good luck

  16. Hayley says:

    Spot on Sue with recycle, re-use, replace :good: A bird bath on the stump is a fab idea, thank you :good:

  17. wjarnock says:

    I’m probably too late but here is a guy I went to school with…



  18. Hayley says:

    Now that’s what I call wood working John, incredible. Thanks for the link! :-) :good:

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