P365 Day 15 – the jungle (15/1/2011)

Our back yard has a fenced off section behind “Slabs’” home brew shed that is ‘mine’. I have my own tin shed, which is filled with gardening tools, seeds, magazines, sporting equipment and old furniture that we don’t have a home for any more. It’s a prime target for the clutter police.

My original plan for the area was to have a culinary herb garden in front of the shed, a walkway between the shed and the fence lined with different varieties of thyme leading to another herb garden behind the shed.

Down the side of the home brew shed is another narrow space where the previous owner had constructed some kind of wooden boardwalk to a very small garden bordered by the fence on one side, the shed on the other side and a lattice at the front.

We can only speculate what might have been grown there.
I planted a climbing ‘Blue Moon’ rose.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the area. As a result it has become one of the many sadly neglected and overgrown parts of the garden. It doesn’t help that on the other side of the fence, blackberry plants grow with reckless abandon, along with another climbing, twisting plant that is possibly called morning glory. Add ivy to the mix, and a heavy infestation of what people call stickyweed, and you get a jungle that is pretty much impenetrable.

I can see the rose down at the end. It seems to be doing fine.

Every time I’ve looked down the side of the shed, I’ve thought how overgrown it’s been getting and how I must get in there and clear it out a bit and decide what to do with the area. But it never really seemed that important, just another job for the to-do list.

Last week, I noticed the intrusion of these plants into my herb garden, so I decided it was time to do something about it. It was my number 1 job today, and unlike so many other days when I have good intentions but never actually do anything (ooh yeah), I really got the job started.

Armed with my trusty Fiskars secateurs and some gloves that, in hindsight, should have been somewhat sturdier, I commenced the attack.
Horrible stuff

Stickyweed is quite easy to remove. You can just pull it and great armloads of it come out. I like that about it. I don’t like the fact that it sticks to every part of my clothing and the little fuzzy seeds are a real pain to remove one by one.

Blackberries, on the other hand, are not easy to remove, nor can you simply grab a handful and yank it out. Hence the need for sturdier gloves. I miss my Riggers. I don’t know what other people’s techniques are, but mine is just to cut it back, bit by bit, chopping it up into bits small enough to go into the garden bin.

There is another technique. It’s called Triclopyr. It may well be required to ensure that the jungle doesn’t return. But I want to use it as little as possible, because I really don’t want to be using poisons on a regular basis in the garden.

After an hour, there is definitely progress. There’s a lot to go, but I feel a lot better about it now that I’ve started.
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