Nettles Be Gone

As so much of the garden is was neglected for so long I plan on tackling only a few parts of it this summer. The final big clearing job was the area behind the back border and the boundary fence, which is also where my climbing and rambling roses are located.

This is what it looked like in August 2017, before I began tackling anything in the garden.

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As you might notice there is an awful lot of ivy coming over from a neighbour’s garden and a lot of weeds that show how much I have neglected the garden.

The border has been tackled, so far, in four stages. First of all I tackled a  section of the ivy coming across from a neighbour’s garden. To be fair the neighbour (not Mr Flood’s property) who planted the ivy died a couple of years ago, and although she kept it under the sort of control a Drill Sergeant would a group of squaddies, the new neighbours seem unaware of the problem it is causing, not just me, but also another of their neighbours, whose bird cage it regularly invades. Hey ho, it’s easily kept on top of, but first of all I had to get on top of it.

I then had a pleasant morning clearing the weeds in front of the roses up to the end of the back border, but then the problems became a lot more prickly.

At the back of the greenhouse I seem to have acquired a rather large collection of nettles, not a job to tackle in windy conditions or on a baking hot day.

Once Storm Hector had blown by, I  began tackling them on what I thought was a relatively cool day, once I had a thick coat and gloves on I soon found out it wasn’t that cool.

A few sweaty minutes later and the top of the nettles have been chopped down and safely removed to the bin. Now I can see what I have left to tackle. Whilst also being careful to avoid going through the cable with the electric wire that keeps the pond pump going.

The big stone in the shot usually acts as a warning for the location of the cables.

Of course that big fern at the bottom of the picture had to of rooted itself right behind the power junction box  and under a very big slab of concrete. I was very careful about where my trowel and hand fork went whilst I levered that out. I was tempted to leave it there but didn’t fancy risking any bits of fern getting into the junction box.

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More hacking back of weeds, ivy and dead grass meant I was able to see the dreaded nettle roots and soon ‘enjoyed’ a long afternoon of breaking up the very solid ground in order to lever out as much of the root system as I could.

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The ivy that remains is attached to the neighbour’s fence (let’s call him Mr Flood) and as it is on his land I’m not risking pulling it off and bringing his fence down. Yes Mr Flood (not his real name) is the neighbour whose actions resulted in my garden being flooded, and as he refuses to co-operate with us in any way, it will remain there, just getting chopped back when it invades my side of the boundary fence. Not very neighbourly I know, but it will avoid arguments if his fence is destroyed by it.

Whilst the weeds and nettles are now mostly eradicated I can once again see the horrible concrete slabs Mrs Ugg installed, prior to flooding my garden.

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I’m not sure what I’m going to use to hide them. I’ll start by giving Snow Goose get a hard pruning and training it to see if it can do as good a job as Paul’s Himalayan Musk at hiding the slabs.

Whilst I may have created another problem to solve I’m truly glad to see the back of those nettles.

Just like my former neighbour I intend to keep the all the ivy and nettles firmly under control in future.

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