Gardenpinks' Blog

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Archive for the month “February, 2011”

Thorns and battling brambles

no bramble here now!

I have spent a few days, not all day though, fighting a huge patch of brambles (blackberry). The area in question is fairly rough, stoney ground and so is planted with shrubs and small trees to the south of our land. We didn’t want this spot to be a formal garden but to encourage wildflowers however what we have managed to encourage is this bramble patch for which we have the birds to thank. The birds eat the blackberries and purge themselves of the seeds which take hold fairly well. At first this area was kept under control with a brushcutter as a lawnmower would soon be wrecked but it only needs us to take our eye off the ball for a year or two for mother nature to take control. The problem with brambles is that they grow rapidly, have nasty thorns and root wherever the end of a stem touches the ground. This particularly piece of ground measures roughly 100 feet wide by over 200 feet long and was just an entanglement deterring any best intentions.

The only way I was going to tackle this ‘mountain’ was to do it section by section start with one small square and then widen the area. Armed with a pair of secateurs and a garden fork I made a small clearing; the fork was used to lift the bramble stems up so I could see where to cut and then start to roll the cut stems away cutting further stems as they impeded progress so I went from this:

Bramble galore


 looking very like a green version of a barbed wire entanglement to this:

cleared area

I am feeling quite pleased with what I have achieved so far. There is still one small area to clear but it is no longer daunting.

Yes I do have more than a few scratches and lacerations and boy do they hurt at shower time. I swear those bramble stems fight back and take any opportunity to grab you when they can.

 Yesterday it was a relatively warm day here with sunshine, with temperatures around 10C (approximately 50F) so while I worked the birds were singing, a few honey bees were out and about and I even saw an intrepid bumble bee. It was lovely to be outdoors and armed with my trusty camera I took a few pictures of the early spring flowers that are already open. Such a cheering view!

winter flowering honeysuckle

This is a shrub close to our porch door and at this time of the year it has many blossoms on it that are very fragrant; the scent has a fizziness to it, almost tickles your nose. Anyway the bees love it as you can see in the following photo – the bee is marked with a green arrow! Hope you can make it out, click on the photo for a larger image.

honey bee on honeysuckle

Then there were the beautiful little irises, these are the first ones to flower here in the UK and go by the name of Iris Reticulata, they are only about 4 inches tall but such a rich colour:

Iris Reticulata

 Then there are the lovely yellow aconites with their little yellow faces looking not unlike buttercups:

winter aconites

And snowdrops of course


These are growing behind a stone seat although these seat was once upon a time a stone water trough, sadly part of it broke away when we dug it out of the ground so we raised it up on to a stone plinth and it becomes a very comfortable seat once cushions are put on it!

winter aconites and snowdrops

 Aah do love this time of year when the weather behaves itself and I can walk around the flower beds looking to see what new wonder has emerged.

Another favourite of the bees are these hellebores. This particular plant always flowers first but in other parts of the gardens there are different colours of hellebore, one bed has white and deep red flowering ones with many of the flowers having speckles inside. Thanks to the bees there are also many pink ones in this bed now too!


And now for something completely different! Actually this is a bit of showing off because I just happen to think we have beautiful daughters!!  A week or two ago one of our daughters was asked by her friend if she would be prepared to act as the friend’s model at a hairdressing competition sponsored by L’Oreal. The friend participates in many of these competitions, travelling around all over the globe to take part and has won quite a few of the competitions. So daughter went, she had her hair cut, coloured, styled and then for the photos she had to be made up. This part daughter was not happy about as she wears very little make up however the photos called for heavy make up especially foundation; daughter said she felt as though she was suffocating! After the make up came the dressing up, a clothes designer was on hand and daughter had to wear a foam and netting creation – sounds very erm, erm exotic?!

Model photo

model photo 2

Well that’s all for now folks. Thanks for stopping by xx



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