Who'd have thought?

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.

Photos above are so ugly I had to throw something prettier in.  This is my favourite wall additive, plugged into cracks as I was building it.  Allium carinatum ssp pulchellum - flowering now.
The photo above is so ugly I had to throw something prettier in. This is my favourite wall additive, plugged into cracks as I was building it. Allium carinatum ssp pulchellum – flowering now.


  1. A fenced-in corner of a virtual jungle, with extra moisture and nutrients available, and no time for maintenance? You know what springs to mind? After the initial cleanup, I’d mulch it and plant it out with Rubus lineatus, leaving just the narrow path to the tank. Would keep the fences up as well, so that unsuspecting passers-by would just freeeeeeze and think: no, surely NOT?!? And you could just watch them and giggle. 🙂

    1. Yeah, much better that that annoying triangle of land leads to laughs than to guilt, as it currently does.
      I love Rubus lineatus. No doubt it’d lead to the worst forms of attention-attraction. Not only from walkers by, but from the weed police

  2. Do I know that situation all too well! ! Resist, resist, resist. It’s curious what becomes the trigger. Yours was necessity … mine’s probably guilt and a desire not to let things get on top. The enjoyment that results is most probably a complex mix of these … and more.
    Lovely photo of the allium. Cernuum or possibly carinatum?

    Cheers, Marcus

    1. More often guilt for me too, or sheer embarrassment at the job not being done.
      And thanks for your question about the allium – only then did I realise that my caption had inexplicably disappeared in the publishing of this post. I’ve just put it back in.
      As for A. cernuum – I always think it’s kind of weird when I see the seeds of it amongst the most common garden flowers at the hardware seed stand. Seems like such an anomaly. And then, of course, you never see it actually grown.

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