It's Autumn a year following our decision to rescue the garden. Sometimes I wonder if it's me needs rescuing. My cousins and I go up and spend the day removing brambles from the damson trees. Some shoots are over 12' long and up high, we get war wounds from being hit in the face, arms and hands when pulling them off. There are brambles everywhere the eyes can see most at least waist height and twisted together making getting anywhere impossible. I try scything but the brambles are very thick, so I work on techniques to chop through so that we can clear an area away from the trees. I work out a swing with a push through a bit like welding a golf club allows most power to cut through and this cuts most of the smaller branches. Good old English scythes which are heavy and robust enough to manage this.
It's really hard going though, due to everything getting tangled so easily as I scythe. Progress is very slow.
I also have a problem with the trees growing here. There seems to be a small forest of hawthorn which is very uncomfortable to cut down as it fights back. Some are growing next to the chain link fence making cutting them down really difficult, I'm wondering if I can wrap them up in black plastic and kill them by loss of sun and water, maybe if I covered the roots too. I have nothing to lose by trying it.
The brambles have surrounded the damson trees and are growing into the branches, making it impossible to see what green is tree and what is bramble. Pulling the branches down from the trees is fun as a group as they ping off and whiplash in all directions making everyone a target. This led to many shrieks and hilarity as well as a few misjudged avoidance tactics resulting in getting stuck in walls of brambles and needing to be cut out.
I need to develop a new strategy for management up here. It's too overgrown and unmanageable. I may need to abandon it except for making a couple of paths, while I get other things in more order and then face it anew.
Thinking of paths. It's impossible to make paths, no sooner have they been made than they grow back. Mother Nature I admire you, but why do you hate me!!!
I have to find a way to make paths if I'm going to be able to achieve anything. I can't cut them. Mowing is impossible as I can't get the mower up here and don't want to risk the blades. Digging would be fine if I was a fit athlete and had a few weeks. I need to consider options.
On reflection I'm amazed how Dad achieved anything at all when he was working and bringing up a family. The commandment respect thy father has new meaning in this sense.
I thought throughout my life that Dad loved gardening and that is probably true, because our outings orientated around visiting gardens, formal, informal, tropical etc. But only now do I really realise how dedicated he was to continue day after day, year after year into his nineties and why he would abandon some areas at times to concentrate on others.
As a teenager I used to get frustrated and wonder why he did that, why he could not keep the nettles down etc. I reflect on the irony of this whilst I think of my situation, it feels often that I'm playing 'what time is it Mr Wolf' with nature. I chop it back, turn around and when I turn back nature has not only put it all back but advanced.