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09 March 2017 @ 01:35 pm
Garden Ambitions  

I have Ambitions about the garden. My Ambitions probably require a wood chipper, a chainsaw, a tiller, whatever one uses to pull (reasonably small, because I wouldn’t try to deal with the big trees) stumps/roots out, and as many willing bodies as is feasible, to accomplish.

See, half of it garden is gone to wild, and was before we moved in here. I don’t even necessarily mind that it’s wild. It’s that it’s murderous, full of brambles (which at least produce blackberries) and nettles (which don’t). I’d like to reduce it to non-murderousness. I don’t have any PLANS for it beyond non-murderousness, not really

(except the blackberry bramble patch would probably make a good area for a small vegetable garden)

it’s just that I want it to not leap out and attack random passers-by. But if that’s going to be done it might as well be done right, and if it’s going to be done right it’d probably be silly to not at least put grass down, or something.

There’s far too much of it to be done, realistically. It’s…well.

gardenwreck02

That’s probably…I don’t know. I mean, from that angle, it’s 60 feet deep, but that’s looking toward the corner from where I was standing. Facing straight back it’s at least 20, maybe 30 feet deep from where I’m standing to the fence blocking the creek. And it’s at least a hundred feet long, so it’s just…a lot of ground. Too much. Except, y’know, if you’re gonna do it at all… #sigh

Even so, just dealing with the first…15 feet of depth?

gardenwreck03

There’s a fence running along the left of this picture, more or less (more or less) where the earth stops. Taking that out and clearing even just the five or so feet in front of it and the ten behind it would get rid of MOST of the brambles and nettles and it’d…just be a lot better. *sigh*

The whole mess is made worse by the fact that when pieces of the apple tree fell off last year, the gardener just threw them right over the edge of the fence in the clearest patch (which had been my blackberry patch, god damn it):

gardenwreck01

so what was bad the year before is much worse now because it’s got an entire extra dead tree lying on top of it. #sigh

And of course the longer it goes on the worse it’ll get, so I would LIKE to deal with it, but…agh. :/ And it should be done NOW, before spring really kicks into gear, and…agh!

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

 
 
 
Lizhawkwing_lb on March 9th, 2017 12:40 pm (UTC)
If you want a volunteer, you have my... well, I don't have an axe, but I can bring a saw.
kitmizkit on March 9th, 2017 12:56 pm (UTC)
My cunning plan is working swiftly, and I forgot to even mention feeding people!
Lizhawkwing_lb on March 9th, 2017 01:01 pm (UTC)
You are offering an opportunity to DESTROY PRICKLY THINGS and PLAY IN THE MUD. I mean, with an end goal! But how is that not something everyone wants to do? :)

(Food would be an excellent bonus.)

kitmizkit on March 9th, 2017 01:11 pm (UTC)
I obviously know the right kind of people. :)
Lizhawkwing_lb on March 9th, 2017 01:16 pm (UTC)
You have good taste!
nojaynojay on March 9th, 2017 03:49 pm (UTC)
A forgotten book
I saw it once in a bookstore, never again. It was entitled "Through the English Country Garden" and subtitled below the picture "with fire and the sword". It was a "how not to garden" for non-gardeners. The section on chainsaws was hilarious.

Have you considered biological weapons, like a couple of goats?
kitmizkit on March 9th, 2017 05:35 pm (UTC)
Re: A forgotten book
What a magnificent-sounding book! :) And I don't know where to get goats, or I'd consider them... :)
nojaynojay on March 9th, 2017 06:12 pm (UTC)
Re: A forgotten book
It had some wonderful takeaway lines, like (paraphrasing slightly) "The Geneva Convention on Chemical Warfare does not apply to horticulture and pest control. Bwahahaha!!"

Goats are interesting animals, if a bit whiffy (the billies especially). They will eat any vegetation no matter how tough with no apparent ill effects. The kids are cute and then delicious, a couple of nannies will provide a lot of fine-quality milk if you get them serviced regularly by someone with a billy.

You might like to find out if there are any goats for hire in your locality -- it's a service provided by entrepreneurs to eat out wilderness gardens like your own. You get the pleasure of a few goats for a couple of weeks resulting in a much-depleted garden space to work on. You might lose your brambles though.
Wolf Lahti: antimonywolflahti on March 9th, 2017 06:35 pm (UTC)

Goats are browsers, not grazers. They'll eat a bit here, take a bite there.... The real difficulty lies in that they will eat not only what you want them to but everything they can reach—and they can eventually reach everything. As the saying goes, "Wire for chickens, rails for horses, concrete for pigs—and the goats will still get out". They are effective brush clearers, but you cannot leave them to their own devices.

(Serious goat people never call them nanny and billy but rather doe and buck.)
nojaynojay on March 9th, 2017 10:44 pm (UTC)
Traditionally sheep were used to graze the lawns of stately houses hence the "ha ha", a steep bank or wall that prevented the sheep from wandering though the formal gardens close to the house and eating the flowers. Goats would have laughed at any such obstacle and eaten the roses, the ivy on the walls, the kitchen garden, the decorative holly bushes and the laundry if it was out to air.

The "hire-a-goat" people usually secure the goats in leashed harnesses if the garden can't be made escape proof so the owner gets a series of cropped circles around the ground anchors.
guppiecatguppiecat on March 9th, 2017 05:23 pm (UTC)
You could use a flame thrower to take everything down, then plant kudzu so it looks nice and green again. It'd take you maybe two hours, total.

(Note: do not actually do this.)
kitmizkit on March 9th, 2017 05:36 pm (UTC)
*laughs* I like how you left the note. Just in case. :)
martianmooncrab: pic#59898509martianmooncrab on March 9th, 2017 11:56 pm (UTC)
pick a spot and just start, a little at a time. I have a five foot pry bar that works quite well when digging.

One way to remove stubborn roots is to hook and chain it, and then pull it out with a vehicle.. Thats how my Dad used to approach yard work.
kitmizkit on March 10th, 2017 08:11 am (UTC)
tragically there's no way to get a vehicle like that into our back garden. :)
anna_wing on March 10th, 2017 02:52 am (UTC)
Are machetes allowed where you are? Because if so, a good sharp machete is actually quite useful for clearing quite large patches of land in a reasonable time. Just the bits above-ground, of course, but getting rid of roots and things is easier when the superstructure is gone. You'll need heavy gloves, preferably elbow length, and eye protection if you're cutting thorny plants. My experience is with bougainvillea; that also needed a chainsaw for the trunk and petrol to kill the stump. But one thing at a time.

I am told that young nettles shoots make good soup.
kitmizkit on March 10th, 2017 08:13 am (UTC)
It concerns me that people were so hungry at some point that they said "maybe this murderously stingy stuff could be eaten." That's what I always think about nettle soup...

I doubt machetes are allowed, but we were discussing, in similar terms, what use a good scythe would be out there. :)
anna_wing on March 10th, 2017 09:41 am (UTC)
I have occasionally had the same thought about prawns (usually while tucking into a large pile of them). But I believe it is the young, less-stingy shoots just coming up now that would be of interest. There ar emany recipes on line, so it seems to be quite a mainstream thing.

I have seen scythes. They look as if they would require somewhat more practice than a machete...
Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on March 10th, 2017 02:57 am (UTC)
On the bright side, you made my impossible garden tasks (mostly pulling out the entire herb patch and redoing it, giant weeds, ingrown plastic mulch and all) seem a lot less intimidating...
kitmizkit on March 10th, 2017 08:13 am (UTC)
I live to serve. :)
Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on March 10th, 2017 11:47 am (UTC)
In that case, could you come wrestle with MY garden (and my manuscript)? Please? I'll feed you.
kitmizkit on March 10th, 2017 01:22 pm (UTC)
I don't live to serve THAT much! :)
Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on March 10th, 2017 11:21 pm (UTC)
Dang.
Amberleyamberley on March 11th, 2017 03:23 pm (UTC)
Second Line Rule
I have Ambitions about the garden.

And then the murders began.

I don't know if you can rent a stump grinder in Ireland like in the U.S.A., but that's a thing.
If you check Youtube for "how to remove a stump" there's fire (you need to drill channels for air
flow, and clear space around), and something that involves epsom salts that seems to take forever.
Or a method involving chains and a big truck, but you already mentioned your backyard is not
conveniently accessible to trucks.