Our neighbours have cleared away a lot of trees and scrub from the ditch along the bottom of their field. This lets more light into our shady bottom corner, which is a good thing from my point of view since the corner is still quite shady enough. I don't think any of the ferns or the Geranium phaeum will be curling up in horror at the sight of that blistering orb in the sky. On the downside where previously the shady planting had a backdrop of densely planted young trees, against which you could see the rabbit fence if you looked closely but it wasn't offensively obvious, the fence is now starkly visible against a background of the ivy which has run all over the formerly shaded ground of the field.
I have been harvesting yew seedlings found around the garden to make a hedge inside the field hedge by the shady corner. The plan is to keep it densely clipped so that it forms a backdrop for the ferns and the museum shop copy of the head of Thalia, the Roman muse of comedy, and to top it off at about five feet. It is a slightly risky plan in that if we get another freakishly wet year and the water table rises again then the yews will drown, like they did the previous time I tried making an evergreen hedge with some bought yews left over from another project. But we have only had one such impossibly wet period once in twenty-four years, so the yews might see out our tenure. It is true that the largest yew in the projected hedge is still less than a foot high and so it will be several years before it actually hides the fence, but there you go.
It was the Systems Administrator who called me down to the bottom of the garden to see how much lighter it was, and in return I invited the SA to admire my stumpery of one stump. The SA said that if I wanted more stumps there might be some suitable ones in the wood where some small alders had come down, and promised to investigate in the autumn. I am all in favour of home grown stumps where possible. I got the existing stump from a firm exhibiting at the Hampton Court Flower Show, but they ceased trading years ago. Quick searches online have not thrown up any obvious successor, though I am intrigued by the offer from a vendor in Hampshire of a large box of collected driftwood, scarcely used. Free stumps with no stump miles attached would be better, though.