Saturday, 4 May 2013

It's a Jungle Out There

With some spring-like weather having finally arrived on Sunday, we ventured out into the garden.  S, aka Agent Orange, decided that we really ought to clear away some of the vegetation around the fallen-down wall so that the builders could see the extent of the job ahead of them when they came to rebuild it.  There is nothing he loves more than chopping down plants, often only leaving a bare two inches of stalk sticking out of the ground.  It's not pruning, it's defoliation on a chemical warfare scale!

We started by the steps that were hidden under a mass of foliage and intertwined branches.  At one time, they would have led up to a rectangular and walled stretch of land previously retained by the fallen wall and so about ten foot higher than our garden.  The entrance into this area is now bricked off but I wonder if this walled garden was once the kitchen garden for our Old Rectory.   I began delicately snipping thin branches with my secateurs but Agent O had other ideas.  The chain saw came out.

Luckily, this wasn't one that my dad had bought for him.  My dad loved a bargain.  If it was cheap then it must be good: QED.  He seemed to take a shine to S and would buy him electrical tools from well known tool suppliers, such as Aldi and Lidl.  S was using the sander one day when it suddenly blew up.  The same with the drill.  By the time, he was given a chain saw, he was getting decidedly nervous.  Were these acts of goodwill or acts of terrorism?  The chain saw exploded too.

The saw that S was using today was one that he had bought himself.  And he does like a bit of quality when it comes to his gadgets and power tools.  So he is willing to pay for something that works and that is safe.  Thankfully.

A moment of calm before the chain saw massacre begins

There are steps in there somewhere

Undergrowth... and overgrowth

Revving up


...and an entire tree came away in his hand!

Trying to saw through the trunk of ivy!

The Lady of the Manor arrives

The pile of debris grows
While we were doing this, some youths gathered above us in the churchyard.  There's a hidden corner by the Church Hall where they like to hang out.  It overlooks the garden and we must do something about it, shielding it off with a trellis and some climbing plants or offering to do some planting of shrubs in the churchyard.  It was a boy and two girls today.  No problem except that one of the girls then decided to play music on her phone.  It was loud.  Very loud.  And it was rap.  And I'm pretty broad minded but the language was, well, not very appropriate for a churchyard on a Sunday.  I asked her politely if she could turn it down.  There was a not very respectful response to my request but she did.  In the meantime, a very hot and very sweaty S decided that he would go and stand beside them.  Which he did, smiling at them in a menacing sort of way.  They moved on and peace resumed.  Apart from the roar of the chain saw, that is.  Which is obviously preferable to rap.  It's certainly more harmonious.

I had no idea that ivy grew to such a size.  We have some serious logs cut from the ivy that is growing out of the wall and into the wall and through the centre of the wall.

It's a while since this wall saw the light of day

Note the sawn-off ivy, middle right
Another one bites the dust

The Lady of the Manor supervises the work

More tree removal

 And, finally, the wall and what was once a border edged by a gravel path began to emerge.

We piled the debris at the top of the garden to provide a useful chav barrier!  We must also invest in some really prickly plants to keep them out.  I sound paranoid but these kids can be a serious nuisance.  In the meantime, some of the brambles that we removed were long and very, very prickly.  We piled them up at the top of the garden but, in the process, I got stuck in some for a considerable time!  S had to come and undo me.

Chav barrier
Despite the amount of foliage that we cut down, it turned out that there were actually only about four plants, fighting for life through the brambles and the ivy.  They had grown and grown to reach the light, swamping everything else as they did so.  Hopefully, it won't take long now to clear this bed for planting as the soil is practically bare.  It certainly isn't covered in ivy like the bed by the gin terrace.

A wall, a border and a path

The garden reappears

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