Apparently the Victorians loved a "stumpery" - a collection of artfully arranged tree stumps and logs which could be home to lichen, mosses, ferns and fungi, adding a bit of woodland style to their garden. We've just got one at Windmill, courtesy of Dan and Simon. We had a whole lot of logs that used to be stump-seats, together with a few trunks with their roots still on, so I decided a stumpery would be just the thing to liven up the wild corner of the garden. Dan and Simon got to work and soon had the stumps and trunks in a few neat rows. We looked at it. I said, "It's not really supposed to be that neat." There followed a short discussion on the merits of the layout which ended with my comment, "You'd almost get a better effect if you just threw the stumps into the corner." Dan waded in and dismantled the whole lot. I thought I'd really annoyed him at this point, and he's massive, so that wouldn't have been too clever, but no, he was just lining himself up to take me at my word. One by one the big stumps and logs were lobbed into the corner. Sometimes the effect wasn't quite right, so he retrieved a few and threw them again. A bit of soil and some smaller logs to knit it all together, and we have a really elegant stumpery. All it needs now are a few ferns to set it off.
We got a lot more done too, moving a big pile of brash into the wild area to create a deluxe nesting area with plenty of fox-proof pockets, and making a start on moving the soil pile beneath it. I worked with Ellis to sort out a pile of broken tiles to make mosaic slabs when the weather warms up.