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Busy, busy...


It wasn’t quite so hot this morning, and a bit overcast, so I decided to do a spot of “managing” in the wild patch. I leave it alone on the whole, but if I didn’t oversee it there would be a jungle down there, which I don’t want. After pruning the forsythia, which was spectacular this year, I tackled the hollies. There are four of them, of varying dimensions, and all expanding rapidly in all directions. I filled 2/3 of the green bin with chopped up stems and branches. Then I hauled out some brambles and chopped them up, and cut some young sycamore branches growing into the garden from the school site. I shan’t go to the head and offer them to her (although strictly speaking I should) so they were chopped into the bin as well. Then I pulled up armfuls of Herb Robert. Much as I like it, I pull it up when I can, because there’s always enough to satisfy me even after I think I’ve removed it.

Dealing with the Herb Robert made me think of all those questions to GoY “Is this a plant or a weed?”. Someone will inevitably – and quite rightly – comment that a weed is simply a plant in the wrong place. Looking round my garden, it strikes me that I grow, or tolerate, many plants which a lot of gardeners would dispose of pdq. Most of them are simply native plants that romp away because they are in the right place, from their point of view. But because I nurture a lot of them, I have very little space left for the ones I really don’t want. Hairy bittercress is always removed as soon as I spot it, and dandelions. I love them, but if I don’t remove them as soon as I see them, I forget and then they set seed; and it’s no use trying to pull a dandelion with a clock without launching a thousand new ones. I also always pick ground elder and keep it under control that way – it grows in one corner of the wild patch, where I don’t want to dig. I sympathise with the Victorians who championed it as a ground cover plant. I think, left to flower, it is pretty but they can have had no idea of the consequences of planting it with such abandon!

Anyhow, I am pleased with the results of my labours, which have returned my wild patch to just this side of wilderness. The overhanging sycamore branches were removed three years ago, when men appeared swinging from the trees and brandishing saws – the sight certainly livened up my washing-up session! Since then, the roses planted by my grandmother over forty years ago have gradually blossomed again – literally – much to my delight.

This Cecile Brunner didn’t flower at all for about twenty years, but I kept pruning it lightly and laying long stems as horizontally as I could. Last year it produced about six blooms. I am delighted to see it like this.

Similarly, this red rose seemed to be on the way out, but I have pruned it every year regardless. It is now rewarding me.

I have spent the last couple of hours sitting, earmarking the next tasks which need attention. Never a dull moment in a garden!

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You have your hands full Melchi.......made me tired just thinking of all the work!

7 Jun, 2016


Lovely blog Melchi. I have a similar approach to 'weeds'. I know I'll never be rid of the ground Elder, Nettles and Cleavers,so no point stressing...just pull them out when I can be bothered. OH has a contrasting approach, involving a strimmer and a blow torch! ;)

7 Jun, 2016


My goodness you have been busy!! good for the soul, so they say!!
I cannot believe your roses have flowered after all those years, we won't give up on a couple of iffy ones now!! a great blog.

7 Jun, 2016


I have still got to tackle my wildlife/woodland border you put me to shame Melchi will have to get into it on Thursday no hopes until then as Lottie is here to help me have fun in the garden. :O)

7 Jun, 2016


Thank you Paul, but I think I'll have to work a bit harder to catch up with you! I don't work like that every day!

Thank you, Karen. I have a bit of a running battle with cleavers as well. I hate the feel of them. I sympathise with the strimmer and blowtorch approach, but I am far too laissez-faire about the garden to go that far!

Yes, Dd - very good for the soul (apart from the smug feeling - that's probably not so good). Apparently, one should never give up on roses!

No, I don't really put you to shame, Barbara! The rest of the garden is still its usual, slightly messy, self. And I'm sure you'd rather be spending your time with Lottie!

7 Jun, 2016


You deserve a rest after all that - I feel tired just reading about it. I tend to leave Herb Robert but remove wood avens and the usual baddies, trying to get all the cleavers before it seeds, but some must always get missed because up it pops again. Seem to have won the hairy bittercress battle but now have more speedwell than my share. You can't win but you can keep on fighting!
Your roses are lovely, especially the red one - what a joy it must be to have them doing well again.

7 Jun, 2016


Thanks, Stera - I am very pleased with the roses. Herb Robert is such a pretty flower, isn't it? I love to see it peeping out amongst other plants. I can't make up my mind whether I like the smell of it or not. You should have seen the forest of it down at the bottom of the garden! It's easy to pull up, though.

7 Jun, 2016


I like Herb Robert too, and I leave it alone if it isn't interfering with the other plants.
I've got a little weed called Scarlet Pimpernell. It appears in various places every year. I leave it alone also :)

8 Jun, 2016


I loved reading this and was delighted to see the beautiful roses, they must make you feel so proud when you see how well they are doing now.

Our cottage garden is a haven for weeds - the worst being couch grass which grows amongst most of the perennials. Then there is the bind weed and the creeping buttercup and numerous others! We do our best to pull them up but know that they will always be there but hopefully never quite taking over!

8 Jun, 2016


Thanks, Hywel. I remember seeing Scarlet Pimpernel years ago in the south, and rather liking it. I don't have any of that. I have Speedwell, which I love when it flowers in the lawn. It can go a bit wild in the borders. I like flowering plants in the lawn, and I have a patch of daisies. My lawn hardly deserves the name, really, but as long as I keep it mown and it stays fairly green, I'm happy.

Thank you, Wildrose. I have loads of couch, as well. There's nothing to recommend it, is there? The only cure is to dig it up and start again, and I'm not going to do that! The tiniest bit of root starts it off again. I just pull it up knowing I'm only doing a short-term cosmetic job.

9 Jun, 2016


I am offering you my knowledge aboutt how to prune rose climbers. Otherwise, your blog was excellent, I liked to read it.

12 Jun, 2016


That sounds good, Katarina - I am always open to advice.

12 Jun, 2016

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