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Mole Hills.


By marge


I belong to a Readers Group at the local Library, one lady was saying her husband writes a column for our local free newspaper. This week he had done an article about mole hills, and how the soil of the hill was good.It seems that it is basically “riddled” by the mole, so the soil is fine and free of lumps etc.

This set me thinking, could I collect the mole hill soil from the grass verges?
A bit like collecting manure after a horse has gone past.

I discussed this with my husband, who thought, the grass verges belong to the Council, or Highways Agency, and thought I could get proscecuted for stealing soil. My answer was, perhaps we could have a ride out into the countryside and collect it from there.

My husband has “told me off” in the past for collecting plants from derelict gardens, where the house was falling down. It was also suggested by a church going lady, that my taking cuttings from bushes and trees, was stealing.
My reply was that as I was increasing plant life, I did not agree it was stealing.

What does anyone else think? I am not saying I would invade a farmers field to get mole hill soil. Or dig up plants from the wild.

It’s an ethics question, a what is right? a what is wrong? does it matter?

Opinions please.

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If it helps Marge,regarding the mole hill is good quality,having been sifted of stones etc.Know lots of folks who regularly collect it from grass verges around here and have not heard yet of any prosecutions !!

21 Jan, 2009


It would tidy the verges up if you removed the unsightly heaps but you know what the councils are like - in some cases illogical, ha ha.

21 Jan, 2009


I agree about the mole hills - I can't see any harm in collecting the soil. I go out up the lane with my bucket and shovel and collect horse droppings - well, I am clearing up, aren't I - and nobody else wants it!

As to cuttings, if the shrubs and plants are in someone's garden, I am sure that you SHOULD ask permission. Even if a house is falling down, the ground still belongs to somebody, so the plants do too. Mind you, who you could ask is beyond me! lol. I suppose you could cover yourself by asking a neighbour if they thought it would be OK.

21 Jan, 2009


Hello Marge ~
Interesting question. :o)
The soil from mole hills should be loose and malleable, but I guess the mole hills could have grass seeds fallen into them, so where you spread the soil in your garden, you might find some strange weeds growing !

21 Jan, 2009


I can't see anything wrong with using the soil heaved up from mole hills if it is alongside the road. It is helping to clean up the area. It's not like the coucil would come along and use the soil for anything. If they did anything with it they'd probably just try to stuff it back down the mole hill.....I'm assuming the British council workers are as "intelligent" as the Canadian ones???

Taking plants from derelict gardens is a bit "iffy".. on one hand the land does still belong to someone...on the other hand the owners probably don't care and if they ever did anything with the property they would probably bring in heavy equipment and drive all over everything anyway.

I did once dig up a beautiful peony from a piece of property across the road from me where they were building a new home. Growing amidst the rocks and fill from the digging of the foundations was a poor little peony. I went over in the evening and dug it up...good job too as the next day the spot where it was growing was completely churned up by a front end loader. That little sorry peony is now 5 plants in my front garden here in Kamloops. It has done tremendously well in the 6 years since it was rescued.

I have taken cuttings from people's gardens with permission from the owner. A few times from the landscaping around businesses. Who to ask in a building with several businesses leasing space??? I only take a bit and always from where it won't be noticed or cause an odd shape to the existing plant.

22 Jan, 2009


Sounds all perfectly innocuous and loaded with common sense, Gilli, but I'm sure the British council workers are generally as "intelligent" as the Canadian ones! Too many "jobsworths" out there for my liking! When we moved into our casa here our lovely neighbour was straight round with a begonia that loves to live in shade in a niche in the wall of the porch and cuttings which produced the zebrina in my avatar. Since then we have been beating paths to each others' gardens with seedlings, cuttings, excess of vegetable plants etc, and she wandered around my garden during summer pointing out plants she would like seeds or seedlings of for this year. Apart from that I have the wild mountains as a "garden extension" and we all "tidy up" anything that's out of place. I keep a pair of secateurs in the boot of the car and while we're out walking I pack in my rukkie my "kit" of little lidded pots (the sort the latex gloves in a box of hair dye are packed in) for the collection of seeds, a pair of strong scissors, a trowel, a pair of gardening gloves and wet kitchen roll in plastic bags. In a couple of months I hope to post a photo here of tiny miniature daffodills that grow further up the mountain. They're perfect in every sense but only 4" high! I've yet to have success with the asphodel seeds!

22 Jan, 2009


‘Guerrilla Gardening’ go for it Marge. I would not trespass on private property but if it is discarded on a public footway or path and looking for a good home I would collect it. My Mother use to collect horse manure off the road.

22 Jan, 2009

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