Friday, 15 July 2011

Clearing Ben and Poom's Garden

So, it's been a while since I posted (I know, I know, again), for a variety of reasons, including finding out that we had to move house, moving house, and the illness and passing away of my dear and wondeful Grandad. I've gone into it in more detail on my other blog, but suffice it to say I'll be doing some catching up on the blog front.

(Sometime in mid-April)

Spent a few days this week taming Ben and Poom's garden - they moved house in the winter and their garden is something of a jungle. After a while I could sort of see where the original garden plan was going - before a few years of neglected pruning there would have been a winding path leading to the back of the garden with woodland flowers like japanese anemones and primroses along the edge. Then, further back from the path were flowering shrubs and dark foliage. At the back of the garden were raspberries, both the usual varieties and a variety of golden fruiting raspberry, redcurrants, blackberries and blackcurrants. The front beds are full of flowers: spring bulbs, clematis, wallflowers and pansies. I even found a tree none of us knew was there inside a buddlea. Oh, and there was pampas grass. I hate pampas grass.

As you can imagine, after a few years with no one looking after the plants it all went a bit mental. Surprisingly the buddlea was the easiest to deal with - largely because Ben and Poom wanted to keep it, so it largely just involved cutting back. The expanding hazel thicket took more time, and a good deal of help from my Mr and Tom; I still haven't quite finished with the laurel, but I defeated the larger of the two pampas grass bushes and helped my Mr take out the second.

At school we used to call it slit-wrist, and with good reason - even being within three feet of the damned stuff means cuts on arms and legs and faces. It was a proper ****er to get out, I can tell you: several feet deep and about two foot thick with dried grass and snail shells - some of which were still alive. Urgh. I have to say, I've never seen the point in a plant that looks sort of ok-ish for approximately two months of the year and ragged and hideous for the rest of it, is so big that it kills off anything nearby and so vicious that you start bleeding of you even look at it. I mean, why do they plant it in schools, for Gods' sake?

Anyway, it took some time - as you can see from the photographs, which don't look like I've made any progress at all, other than greatly increasing the pile of sticks in the front - and I'm not yet finished, but it's going to be a lovely garden again soon.

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