The garden has two pampas grasses either side of the garden. They are massive beasts approximately 6' across. They are very old, they look musty and rotten in the middle.
I have avoided these. I remember getting cut by the leaves as a child if I brushed against them. I don't like them they serve no particular purpose and I find them ugly, but I'm not going to remove them, there is nothing to replace them.
I need to reduce their bulk because they are musty and one is damaging the boundary wall to the garden.
I researched how to reduce their bulk. Most articles advised burning. They also said the grass goes up like mad and most people loose their eye brows! I was very tempted, but doing it in the driest summer since 1976 probably wasn't a good idea, also the Pampas grows under telegraph poles, I'm not sure the neighbours or the local council would be amused. They also grow nest to trees, again, dry summer, tinder box. No fire.
It took me a day to cut back an clear away all the long grass to gain access to the core. Although I wore long sleeves the weather this summer we know has been hot so I ended up stripped down to a vest top and jeans, I ended up covered in cut and scratches. This really did cost me blood, sweat and tears. It also cost me a bent garden fork digging into the core was very hard and the grass very dense and difficult to separate. When I went to work the following day I was also covered in bites from something living in the grass.
My neighbour took pity on my and came to help with a sharpened spade. I don't think I would have done it on my own, it took both of us pulling in opposite directions to break into the centre and separate it. It took me the rest of the day with my neighbour to split it in two and clear away half of it. The core was rotten, and damp, the damp appears to have been providing food and moisture in the heat for the newer growth outside. Once in the centre it was easier to clear lumps away.
I don't have a green bin big enough to put the remains in. Having discovered the bites, due to excessive itching, I wasn't keen to put them in my car to take to the tip, with the prospect of a few critters in the car to keep me company on a possible 5 hour journey home. Instead I used the remnants to create a path amongst the nettles to the orchard, or at least part way. I have a horrible suspicion though, that I may have just created a long Pampas grass nursery in another part of the garden. Only time will tell.
One down one to go. Joyous news- the other one is growing into the hawthorn hedge. Thanks Dad for the creativity and challenge.
I need to plant out around the Pampas. There are poppies growing around it with margarite stylie daisy flowers in a huge bank. I have reached the conclusion that the garden is so big I will struggle to keep on top of it all, I therefore have decided anything (other than weeds such as dandelion, ragwort and bramble) that has a purpose, whether food related, pollinator or pretty can stay if it is surviving in it's current spot, I plan to add to the poppies to make them stand out more and will probably split the daisies and distribute them elsewhere also, then a good feed would do everything the power of good. I plan to plant easy to grow plants, nothing which will need too much support such as covering in frost and love a mix of different heights, colours and textures.
In my own garden I've added plants in a variety of textures and heights for pollinators. I now not only see pollinators but birds wander in amongst the plants searching for food and we have not had any problem with ants this year- previously we have really struggled with dry conditions followed by heavy rain. Also the garden has been cooler than I recall previously due to all the vegetation. Useful in climate change.