Sunday, 18 December 2011

Battling berberis, bramble and briar

I manage to get myself into a tight spot, wedged between the boundary and three prickly customers, armed with only my wits, a garden fork and a slightly inadequate looking pair of secatueurs. The loppers lie tantalisingly out of reach on the barrow only feet away but separated from me by an impenetrable curtain of spines. Obviously the brambles need to come right out now, and I do my best to cut away the tangle and lever out the stubborn roots from beneath the neighbour’s fence, snapping one of the tines off my fork in the process. The second trusted garden friend I’ve lost in a week. Collateral damage. But no time for regrets now, there’s a job to be done, and decisions to be made. How much to cut from the other two, and when? That’s a thornier issue.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Digging December

I’m not sure that anyone spends much quality time in their garden during December. Even the keenest of gardeners will find more pressing things to do in the run up to Christmas, and it’s probably no accident that the holidays occur at a time of year when there’s little work to be done outside and the garden can be left largely to its own devices. But for those determined few prepared to contend with claggy lawns and inclement weather, there’s the promise of a calm, quiet space so different from the frenzied maelstrom which too often typifies our experience of the end of the year.