Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Scots Pines

On the West side of our farmhouse we have a dozen or so Scots Pine trees which have been there since the house was built at the beginning of the twentieth century.   They are higher than our roof and really make a good windbreak as our prevailing wind is from the west.   They also shelter the drive from the rain very nicely.  In Winter they make a splendid roost for pheasant and we usually have twenty or so who fly up into them every night to escape any
marauding foxes.   They congregate on the garden wall each night at dusk and are lovely to watch.

They have one great drawback - and that is Pine Needles.   At this time of the year on a windy day like today the air rains pin needles as they fly off the trees and cover the lawns, the footpaths, the patio, the gutters around the house.   They get everywhere.   You can go out with a brush and sweep them away from the back door and go out again ten minutes later and it will be as bad.

Does anyone know a use for pine needles?   I wonder if the monks at nearby Jervaulx Abbey stuffed their palliases with them or something.   Even on the compost heap they take ages to rot down.  So they go on to the bonfire.

The first whole day without rain (although it is looking a bit cloudy at present) so the farmer went to shake up his hay.   He says it is looking 'a bit sad' to use his words.   But he is still hopeful that he will eventually be able to get some bales out of it.

11 comments:

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

You can find some ideas online...
http://www.gardenerscott.com/1/post/2011/11/uses-for-pine-needles.html
But it sounds as if you have a lot of pine needles! Perhaps some will always end up on the fire....If you mulch around the trees do they stay put?

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

Like you we like to throw them on the fire. They smell so good!
Gill

angryparsnip said...

You have too many but I always thought that you could bundle them up and tied with string for a fire. Give them as gifts at Christmas.
That would take care of a bucket full but what to do with the rest ?
So I am no help.

cheers, parsnip

Tom Stephenson said...

Yes, they are brilliant kindling, being so packed with volatile oils. Scots Pines are very special, usually self-seeding over periods of hundreds of years, often on places of historic significance, like barrows, etc. As evergreens, they were used as road and other markers by the ancients. I love them.

The History Anorak said...

Can you make 'lavender bags' with the pine needles? Do they smell good enough for that?

Joanne Noragon said...

I would hope for a lot of wind to bring them down sooner, to be swept up sooner. Perhaps they could shake some grass, too.

Elizabeth said...

Basket-makers make beautiful little baskets/containers from them.

Cro Magnon said...

We use them for cooking Mussels. The Mussels are laid out in a big circle (opening side down), then covered with the Pine needles. You set fire to the pile, and when burnt out the Mussels are cooked. Fan away the ashes, and voila!

Heather said...

Would pine needles burn in your log burner? I am thinking they might give off a lovely scent. I hope the weather holds for the hay crop - rain is hammering down on our roof as I write this.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Some good ideas here so thanks for that. I think we need to keep a bucket full to start with and see how they do on our log burner (once we have it going again for Autumn). i might also try making a pine needle bag (like a lavender bag) and see how good the smell is and how long it lasts.
But Cro's idea of cooking mussels using them just sounds wonderful - my mouth is watering as I write this.
Thanks for calling in.

Carolyn H said...

You can wind them into a basket!