I hurt my back the week before last. Not with all the heavy lifting and exertion in the plot. No, from putting my new lamp on my bookcase. Something went twang and I wasn’t up for much at all, never mind gardening. I did a very small shift on Saturday 5th, before heading home having proved to myself¬†that I really wasn’t up to it.

Saturday just gone was a good day for a morning and afternoon shift though and I got lots of weed removal done. Digging up the raspberries is still on my to-do list, but I wanted to be careful with my back, so I concentrated on weed clearing. The docks are rampant down there and although the plot looks quite green beyond the pre-dug beds, there isn’t much grass contributing to the colour. As you can see!

Dock removal

I needn’t worry too much about the fact that my little gate doesn’t have a padlock on it (which would really only be a deterrent anyway), as with all my spot removal of dandelions, thistles, docks and buttercups I’m doing, I’m leaving all kinds of wonderful trip holes around the place. Just right for breaking an intruder’s ankle.

Trip holes

Long on the to-do list was the clearing of the front fence. Work early on had already cleared nettles and globe artichokes and vetch etc., but a big nettle remained and further inspection revealed a bramble growing in among it. It took me forty minutes in total to dig those two enemies out of the ground, but I did it. The nettle was huge and had runners going all over the place. The bramble was three-pronged and its removal involved a lot of strategic standing on the right branch at any one moment to stop it just attaching itself to my trousers while I tried to dig up the big root ball. But I did it and now that patch by the fence looks like this.

Nettle be gone!

Along the fence, up towards Braeburn Corner, there’s a patch of egregiousness that I’ve been eyeing up for a while. Several mega thistles, abandoned embedded netting, discarded potatoes, nettles, docks (of course), brambles and all sorts – all thoroughly intertwined of course. I finally made a start on trying to clear it that afternoon and managed to clear the thistles, a lot of dead vegetation and nettles. I’ve also loosened the netting somewhat by giving it a few good kicks underneath. There’s a time for being dainty and a time for kicking. There’s a bramble plant of some kind, very deeply rooted and though I was able to perhaps give it a headache, I couldn’t shift it on Saturday. The light was fading and while I kept going well past the street lights on the main road lighting up, I eventually had to concede that it was too dark to see any more and went home to my sofa.

Mega thistle

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