Wrestling clematis

deceptively neatSome people actually grow this spectacular climbing plant. I just seem to hack at it.  Another day down on the lower terraces.  This time I managed three levels.

These are the ones closest to the vineyard, so it’s a bit of a trek first thing with strimmer, petrol, spare whipper wire and water.

From a distance one of them didn’t look too bad.

But when you wade in you realise that what looks like gentle grass is actually thigh high and hiding all sorts of fun obstacles. the jungle

I never knew the wild clematis had colonised down here.  it flowers in early spring, and as I have never ventured down here around that time, I don’t get to enjoy the flowers.

Instead I almost garotted myself on a low lying tendril that had brought a branch to the horizontal position on one of the terraces.

I just can’t remember some of these trees that are growing in the centre of some of the terraces.

horizontal clematisAnd there are way too many that are encroaching from the edges and making clearing work tricky. Tomorrow I must come down with the loppers and cut back many branches.

I had to stop a lot to secateur the fatter than my thumb sized brambles.  There are way too many of those. But luckily my new machine whacks through bracken like a knife through butter.

And the three terraces are almost tamed.  That just leaves one small half terrace and the dread vineyard.  And I ought to give the huge sloping bowl of the prairie a strim as well. But I suspect I will lose the will to live if I ever get out of the vineyard in one piece.

And there’s raking. Oh god. Vile work.  Part of me does wonder what is the point of these five acres or so of terraces below the house.  But that’s just it. We’d much rather have empty terraces below us than other peoples houses.  And it’s just three weeks a year to tame a third of our entire farm. market flowers

And of course they are not empty. Rather they are teeming with wildlife.  Foxes, deer, wild boar, birds galore and possibly a badger set.  I always think it would be a great idea to bring the night camera down and set it up among the many animal tracks.  But I never have a spare pocket or hand when it comes to hauling down all the toys.

I petered out at lunchtime. And had a happy time doing what I thought having a large garden meant:  picking  flowers.  Much less sweaty work.