Sunday, 3 December 2006


The advantage of clearing a quarter of an acre of pernicious weeds such as couch grass, creeping thistles, nettles, dandelions and ground-elder, is that you grow visible muscles where previously there had been none. The downside is that my husband and I began to have the physical characteristics of He-Man and She-Ra.

All this physical work in the fresh air also gave us insatiable appetites, as well as many weeks of back-breaking toil. No sooner had we cleared an area of weed, when a new flux of dormant seed started to germinate. And we now had a mountain of weed, and two more, of little stones and enormous boulders.

Since we all wanted this wildlife garden, delegation was required to maintain sanity. With the promise of a trip to Alton Towers and other away-day treats, we enlisted the help of Number One Son to push the heavy-laden wheelbarrow loads to the weed and boulder mountains. It fell to Number Two Son ( in between being riveted to the tennis, golf, football season) to take on the onerous task of feeding the hungry horde.

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