I love the smell of napalm in the morning…

Sadly, however, we had no napalm to spare when it came to clearing the garden of the encroaching brambles and bindweed, so I had to go in and do it by hand.

Since we moved to our current house on campus, the garden has come on in leaps and bounds, mainly due to the ministrations of fair hands. The lawn is free of thistles, the beds are tidy, the contents of the compost bin are starting to look like compost, the herb patches are looking glorious, and the russian vine is finally dead (it has produced one shoot so far this year, which was swiftly snipped off – we remember what last year was like, when we could barely get through the gate). The one remaining problem was that of the brambles and the bindweed.

Our garden is on the northern side of campus. On the west side is one of the halls, to the north and south are grassed areas of variable quality (the one to the north is mostly thistles and scrub), while immediately to the east (between us and a car park) is an tree-covered earthen bank about 2m high. This bank has some dense undergrowth, most of which is brambles, and over the past few years it has become increasingly difficult to keep them out of the garden; they’re well established, and the access to the other side of the fence is quite awkward.

So, while tackled the growth on our side, I donned my gauntlets and scrambled around on the other side. The photo below gives an idea of how much we cleared (the big pile on the lawn, and the slightly smaller pile on the lawn just outside the garden, visible behind the fence on the far right).

Now we need to hire one of those wood-chipping machines so that we can fit the wreckage into the car and take it all down to the municipal recycling centre – our compost bin is full! The other option is to persuade the nice men at Estates to come and take it all away…

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On a different note, finally got around to uploading the images of the tyre that blew out last month on the way back from ‘s hen tea party. I didn’t manage to post anything at the time – I left it to to give her account of events – but suffice it to say that having a blow out at 80mph on the M4 in the dark is not something that I’d like to repeat any time soon.

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