I really should have learned by now that the satisfaction/fun/pleasure returns from any particular job in the garden are nearly impossible to predict. I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve put off doing something – sometimes for an outrageous length of time – only to find that I’ve really enjoyed doing it when I finally faced it.
There’s an annoying corner of this property that was once fenced in for goats. The fences remain, against all good sense. It’s also where the outflow from our septic filtration system is directed. The combination of minimised access and maximised irrigation has resulted in weed growth so prolific that I reckon – after any particular event involving spraying, cutting down or digging out the growth – there’d still be a measurable increase in biomass between the end of the job and me stepping through my back door.
I vaguely remember a time when I had this area weed-free, but the blackberry has gone so completely mad in the last couple of years that I’ve trained myself not to even look in that direction. This strategy has been remarkably effective. Despite knowing, deep down, that one day it’ll require action, I’ve pretty much managed to eliminate the entire zone from any perception of ownership or responsibility.
The growth has, however, started to swallow up a 22,000 litre water tank which is our back-up water supply. Last week I had to cut my way into the tank in order to connect it to a pump and retrieve its contents.
Once I cut my way through to the tank, I just kept going. The resultant carved path will do little more that allow access for me to get in there and spray the blackberry, but it felt like a major step forward, and a major leap over a psychological hurdle.
And the crazy thing is, about an hour in, I stopped for a sec, looked around me, heard the birds, wiped some sweat off my brow and realized I was loving it. I was as happy as a pig in mud.