Picture the scene...smouldering wreckage, scattered debris of leaves, branches and stalks but as the mist clears the focus becomes clear. Vine. metres and metres twisted around itself many times over, like the wrought steel of a half demolished building reeling from an incendiary blast.
That has been the task facing me all week. How to clear, when to clear. Particularly with the end of British Summer Time, robbing me of daylight at the work day's end. "Burn It" said the girl who owns the coffee shop. Yet no incinerators in stock at the garden centre, and the garden closely enclosed by houses that despite the cloak of bonfire night it didn't feel like a fair option.
"Fire up the wood chipper" cried @kateginty on Twitter, plotting her own assault on a vine with college comrades. 'Oooo, there's an idea' I thought. But the nature of this vine is such that even then it would need chopping apart to feed in. I took a sneak peak at the hire options, however with christmas fast approaching and no wood chipper to my name I had to take my opportunity in the fresh air and warm sun.
And 3 hours later, it may look not much the same but trust me, I've broken the back off this mountain...
If you peer closely enough, the pile of darker twigs are all the tough stems which even my brand new pair of shears struggled with. These are the real menaces; the ones at the top of the spy chain, calling the shots. Chop these and you stand a chance, but they don't give up without a fight. They have stray vines on them that when you pull them out, lash you in the face, aiming for the eyes but thankfully for me only my cheeks are marked.
Make no mistake, if you have a big vine to take out it will take all your tactical nous, strength and training in the art of aggressive pruning to take out this enemy. But go without fear and you will give your garden a new lease of life...
The Hapless Kitchen Gardener
- Hapless gardener
- I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.