Gardenpinks' Blog

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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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5 thoughts on “Thorns and battling brambles

  1. You have a beautiful daughter. Having her friend treat her to a new type of hair style and color. Awesome. She did a bang up job with the photo shoot and can surely be proud of herself. Not many people get to say they participated in a hair dressers competition. Poor sweetie, at least the make up washes off afterward and she can be back to all natural 🙂

    Oh My GOSH. That bramble patch looks nasty. My poor friend, looks like you had to scrabble around on your hands and knees to tussle with that awful stuff. Good job you’ve done. No…..EXCELLENT!! job you’ve done in clearing that thorny patch out. How do you guys say it? Hoo-Za!!! You deserve to feel proud of the hard work you’ve done.

    Your garden is beautiful 🙂 All those wonderful flowers blooming and scenting the air. Birds singing, bees buzzing, and the good clean aroma of dirt. I think you enjoyed your stroll around even more than usual after that huge feat you’ve done.

    Did I read your post correctly? You dug up a stone water trough? That had to have caused some back aches and some blistered hands with all the shoveling to free it from the earth. Cool!! Now it is a place to sit for a bit and enjoy the sounds, smells, and sights.

    Hope you and Rod enjoy your weekend, and I hope the weather remains fair.
    Love you – Leslie

    • Yes we do have a beautiful daughter, in fact we have two beautiful daughters. I must hunt out the photo of them together and post it for you to see. We are so proud of them both.

      I’m hoping I can finish the last bit of bramble patch tomorrow, sadly couldn’t do it today as it was my childminding day 🙂 I very quickly realised that I am getting too old to be kicking a football around for long and had to find something less strenuous to distract him with 🙂

      Yes you did read right about the stone trough. It had settled well into the ground and over the years, before we came here, the vegetation had grown up around it. As the trough was filled with plant debris and soil we, at first, didn’t realise what it was so we dug around it and used iron bars and leverage of all sorts to remove it from its hole. It is a trough fashioned and chiselled from one huge piece of limestone and once had water piped to it for the horses that were kept here when the quarrying was done. How old the trough is we have no idea but it does make a lovely resting place. There are also fossils embedded in the stone which we point out to the grandchildren.

      Thank you so much for your lovely comments my friend.
      Love and hugs
      Lynn xx

  2. Wow! Beautiful photos of your daughter! So very artsy and stylish!…dare I say “posh”? Thanks so much for sharing them! :o)
    Oh the lovely pictures of your garden as well! I had no idea spring had already started over there! Thank you so much for sharing that! I love spring! It has nothing at all to do with my birthday being on the first day of spring, I’m sure! lol You did a marvelous job cleaning up that bramble patch! I can only imagine how your poor arms feel! Maybe you should stay out of the shower! haha
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Nancy :o)

    • So many thanks for your lovely comments Nancy.
      No not ‘posh’ but elegant 🙂 Our daughter has a lovely long neck which enables her to look so elegant – I wonder whose genes she inherited 🙂 Certainly not mine as I am short and squat lol. Luckily for both daughters they inherited the genes of their father.

      Technically spring hasn’t yet sprung here and cold weather is being forecast for next week but there are some very brave flowers that show themselves very early in the season. Tomorrow is supposed to be another warm day though, well relatively warm at 10C but cooling off on Sunday and we have been told that ‘snow is in the air’ for next week. It can stay in the air as far as I am concerned, just don’t want it on the ground 🙂
      So when is the first day of spring in Canada Nancy?
      My birthday was the beginning of the week just gone – I’m a winter baby yet hate the winter 🙂

      You, too, have a lovely weekend my friend

      Love and hugs
      Lynn xxx

  3. Just checking to see how you are doing.

    You’ve mentioned having cleared more of the bramble and hurrying to get it done before the birds begin nesting. I’ve seen some mentions of more of your garden blooming now that the weather is warming. I bet that makes you feel good when you step out your door and see the burgeoning blossoms and foliage presenting themselves for another year 🙂

    How is Kim doing now that her surgery is over. Is she hearing better and having less pressure in her poor little head? I hope all of your family are doing well, including Rod’s daughter. Is there any news on her treatment?

    Love you – Leslie

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