The Destructive Gardener


An Open Border

A burst water main in town meant that school was closed last Thursday.  So instead of nurturing the young minds of tomorrow’s generation I was forced to spend a little more time on the more pressing task of nurturing the young seedlings of this season’s vegetables.

As luck would have it, Thursday is Mrs B’s day off so she joined the team (with Ella).  The other day we started clearing the border next to the front path which was overgrown with celandine, Alchemilla Mollis and a host of other unwanted invaders.  It was hard work so Mrs B agreed that I would be best suited to continuing this.  Instead she decided to set out to seek and destroy all the Ash saplings that have been springing up uninvited around the garden.   It turns out that horticultural demolition is something that Mrs B does very well.

Ash dieback has been in the news as whole forests of the stuff are apparently being killed by this pest. We would not mind a little drop of “Die Back” here as, left unchecked, I suspect our garden could become the New Ash Forest of Somerset in little more than a year. So Mrs B’s zealous campaign against the invasive menace was most welcome. She has form in the area of garden clearance, having managed to break off and hurl stakes when disposing of old PSB plants, but she has honed her technique to perfect her arboreal eradication methods and seemed pleased with the pile of Ash she produced.  from the area around the holly tree.  But after this act of deforestation she turned her hand successfully to the more selective and skilled work of thinning out the radishes.  I have always had a problem with thinning out, feeling that uprooting the very seeds I planted seems cruel and heartless.  We all know that thinning out is a necessary act to grow good healthy plants.  Unlike me, Mrs B has no qualms about destroying a number of seedlings “for the greater good” and the line of radishes look a lot better for it.

An Appetite for Destruction can be a positive thing.



About midlifegardener

A new house and a new garden. Having spent the past 5 years mainting my father's garden I am now taking on my own gardening project down the road in a new single store dwelling. The Old Man has passed on but he remains in my thoughts as I develop the new patch
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