I had a lovely day in the garden yesterday transforming nettles into garbage and the border into a seed-bed topped with mulch which now looks almost good enough to eat. (If I’m a little distracted it’s because we’re expecting Holly and Tom at any moment; if their train was on time they should be here very soon.)
Today I have also been in the garden although having a somewhat less nice time trying to strip a veritable jungle of ivy from a tree. I have only just got round to it because the whole area was so overgrown that even to reach the affected parts and apply secateurs, I had to cut away a swathe of self-seeded saplings and brambles. But now the poor old tree can begin to be released from the ivy’s horrifying, writhing, suffocating embrace: it really is terrifying how quickly the stuff grows and how it insinuates itself into, around, between and behind every branch. If left to itself for several years (as this has) it will all but kill a tree. It’s good to see the part that I’ve released flourish and blossom again.
I had had thoughts of taking a chain-saw to parts of the garden: trees which really need pruning and which would exhaust any arm that attempted to saw their branches off. But although B&Q hire chain-saws of varying strength and ferocity they unaccountably do not hire the protective gear – and if there’s one thing I know about chain-saws, it’s don’t use them without the protective gear! You can cut off a limb or damage an eye and if you slip you can find yourself in a wheelchair quicker than you can yell cut the electricity! So I’m baffled by B&Q’s failure to supply even the most basic safety gear with their range of disabling instruments. I happened to pass a tree surgeon in the street and I asked his advice. ‘Don’t hire one,’ he said. Well I suppose, being a tree surgeon, he would say that – but he went on to say that if I did hire one he strongly recommended the safety gear. He was in padded trousers, helmet with visor – and gloves.
So for now the thicker branches will have to stay where they are.