Monday, 21 February 2011

Burning the Brambles

It’s good to keep in tune with what’s going on – or not – in the garden so, despite the bitter cold this afternoon, I ventured out and started pottering.

Then, having topped up the bird food and put out fresh water, I made for...

The Kitchen Garden   
(it's grand name).

 Mr Ragbag was attacking the brambles, here, yesterday - that is, 
"...just defeating their bid for world domination..."

So I thought a bonfire was in order.

    I went to the shed (my shed) to fetch fire-lighting materials.

My shed is a bit too small.  Fortunately, they were just inside the door.

    I laid the fire,

    cut the brambles to size, suitably clad,

    and lit the fire – with about 8 matches, I guess (I didn’t count).

It was a successful fire, I’m pleased to report

but it needed some dry stuff to boost the flames; 
so I fetched some of last year’s brittle, nettle stems from  the untamed bit – easily snapped off

    - and discovered some fungus growing on a hazel stump.  

Fungus is great – so long as it’s not Honey Fungus.  Panic!  Is it Honey Fungus?   
I wouldn’t be surprised, but I really hope not!

I also found a suspicious-looking hole – only medium-sized.   
(Well, I already knew it was there, really!  But I didn't know about the fungus.)   
Might need to make the usual, annual appointment with Pest Control…

Then, inspired by the good, hot bonfire, 

I remembered the strawberry bed, and the leaves still to pick and burn 
(from the summer tidy that didn’t happen).

I didn’t have time to remove all the manky ones but I made a start and it was satisfying work.   

I also didn't have time to put this lot 

 on the habitat pile

but I found two ladybirds - finding ladybirds always pleases me, unless they are Harlequins 
- and this skeleton.

Here is  
The Kitchen Garden in Better Times
(the almost finished bit)



  1. Looks like you had a busy day, it's very cathartic and rewarding clearing the space for a fresh start and we all love a good bonfire, I always find a splash of petrol! (throw match down incinerator chimney run, duck and cover!) is a sure (but slightly dangerous) way to getting it going. What a wonderful looking patch and garden you have, it looks very cottage garden eco and wildlife friendly, the perfect style, well done you.


  2. I love a good bonfire - the smell is just fantastic! Not sure about james's addition of petrol though, seems rather risky (but maybe I'm just a coward!).

  3. Dear Mag, I love the thought of a bonfire...but alas, in Maida Vale, this is not to be. I must confess that your Kitchen Garden does look rather sad at present but your photographs of it in its full, productive glory are very impressive indeed.

  4. Hello All and thank you for your comments.

    Yes, I like a good bonfire (when the neighbours have taken their laundry in!) but not too often as I try and 'use' my garden debris in other places. This is possible in the space I have and good for wildlife too, although it makes more work than just stuffing it in the brown bin (I don't have a brown bin) for the council to take away and compost.

    Yes Su, James's addition of petrol is too risky for me, too! I prefer to keep a bit of cardboard ready in the shed. As for the smell, I'm not sure how attractive it is when it lingers on your clothes and in your hair...!

    Edith, I had quite overlooked the fact that bonfires are not even allowed in some places. I am fortunate, then, to be permitted this little pleasure!

    This part of the garden is an addition that we acquired some years ago and I have been slowly cleaning it up and making my kitchen garden. The soil is very light (sandy!) with lots of stones but it has been producing reasonably well.


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