When we widened the drive, we cut back a high bank to make a turning place.  In order to prevent the land slipping, we put gabions (huge wire cages filled with boulders) in a stack in front.

The gabions and the plants growing on them

Over time I’ve planted roses, summer jasmine, lavender, cotoneaster etc to try and turn it into a little beauty spot.

Today I heard timber being flung down from the church wood and I assumed that it was being caught in a vehicle. Just before lunchtime, I went to investigate and found that logs had been piled right up against the gabions and the plants.

Timber, partially cleared, up against the gabions

To cut a long story short, I was promised they would move the wood by hand away from the gabions rather than snatching it straight up with the mechanical grabber, but timber had already been deposited against the plants and a number of stems of a red rose and some branches on a summer jasmine were broken.

I pointed this damage out to the boss who spread his arms in a very Italian gesture, assuring me he hadn’t done it on purpose and wasn’t a delinquent. He promised to buy me a summer jasmine and maybe even a rose; I don’t think that will ever happen.

I see little point in falling out with these people, though. He  should have asked our permission first – he agreed with me on that point – but his business is in danger of going under owing to the huge amount of cut timber which he lost in the forest fire, and he gave me the impression of being beset on all sides.

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