Bramble hunting

A scene from a film comes to mind.

Do you remember that moment in The Hurt Locker?

The bomb disposal hero stands above a potential target and pulls carefully, but forcefully upward. And in his hand is not one buried bomb but a huge number all linked together?

It is what came to mind as I was standing with a long tendril of bramble in my hand and started to pull.

That deep and pleasing satisfaction when you get the whole bramble root out of the damp ground without it snapping off.

It’s the gardener’s equivalent of successful bomb disposal.

Because you just know that if you don’t get the whole root up and out of the terrace wall or ground it will throw up next year’s new shoots in just a few months time.

And before you know it you will have a pretty cascade of jungle. A spiky painful and impenetrable jungle.

I have neglected these lower terraces all year.

And just now that the mower has died and needs a visit to the repair shop (a two hour round trip and very difficult to heave the enormous machine into the car on my own) I have conceded that Sorting The Lower Terraces has fallen lower on the To Do list that it deserves.

I can stand on the terrace or in the main garden and look down on these terraces below the house. But I never see the detail.

Never see the mess that is growing out of the stone walls and threatening the flat bits.

I actually only ventured down here because I noticed the three hazelnut trees were being a touch strangled by brambles and walked down to investigate.

Ugh. Just ugh.

You have to squint to even spot the three trees all weeded and fenced in. I had to hack my way in just to get at the wire cages.

Rampant growth (they are in the moist part of the terrace where the treated run off water from the Eloy Water system comes out).

But rampant hazelnut tree growth also means the oak beside them gets nourished as do the brambles underneath.

And I need to rebuild that wall…

I’m actually holding off the major bramble removal as I know Santa is going to bring me a new pair of thornproof gloves for Christmas.

(I have been good! Despite neglecting about a hectare of farmland.)

The current pair of proper gauntlets have strategic holes where brambles like to attack.

And I will insist on wearing wool instead of sensible fleece. I decided about two years ago that I have a beautiful collection of moth-eaten sweaters that just don’t get worn enough.

It helps if you subscribe to the adage that you don’t wear cashmere and wool, you share. With moths.

They serve me well for everyday because they are so much lovelier. Even if they lack the bramble repelling charms of polyester.

Remind me to insert the picture of my gardening role model when I have to come indoors because it’s too cold / too dark later.

Isn’t she fab? That’s the way to dress when bramble work awaits.