Large Garden of Horrors!

Instead of Little Shop of Horrors with one large ‘weed’, I have a large garden of horrors filled with just about every pernicious weed native to this country. I know, I checked, and ‘pernicious’ was a quote from one of many RHS books!

In my infinite wisdom( like I don’t have enough to do!), I’ve decided to get the garden into some sort of order….this is a pretty big ask and task, in fact it’s a rest of my life project, never mind a 5 year plan.

My best fantasy is turn the garden into working space, in that I want it to have plants that I can use in the edibles and chocolates. I also want it to be medicinal where possible so that there are added benefits to the edibles. I want dye plants and plants that are good for insects, as I’d love to keep bees at some point.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA These 2 pics are of mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) growing wild in garden. I want to keep this or grow it elsewhere as it’s a goodie.

The problem lies in that I have no time…which actually means that I’ve started this process before, cleared, fertilised, then not looked at it for ages, which means that I’ve given the best growth condition possible for , duh, duh, DUH….THE WEEDS. My weeds are architectural specimens, seriously, they’re taller than me by a long way!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Fancy Brambles and Berries spreading out and taking over. Honestly, it’s like the briar wall out of Sleeping Beauty, or for those less ancient, Maleficent, the new updated slant on the old Sleeping Beauty,I liked it for the record.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo put things in perspective, the bit of wall with the ‘hat’ on is my almost 6 ft gatepost, weeds, though raised a bit are waving up at the 8-10 ft level! Mainly Rosebay Willow herb, nettles, with generous smatterings of Ground Elder, unwanted young Sycamore and Willow!

An ecologist client saw the garden the other day with- in the Star Trek Next Gen words- “His eyes wide open”. His suggestion was agent orange, and bulldozers.

The problem is I feel it’s a challenge, the gauntlet has been thrown, it’s it – the garden, or me, mano a mano, planto a femano, as it were. But I don’t like to make things easy, I don’t want pesticides and weedkillers so it’s going to be a long hard slog of mulching and cutting back, so don’t expect pretty pictures for a long while! Just sayin’.


I also want to use what I cut back. I want to weave the willow and young saplings into wee hurdles and path edges. I want to try dyeing with the plant material and using as much of it as I can, if not going straight to mulch or compost.

I believe that  committing to writing it down here will make me commit to the process. I’ll keep you posted – how about Weedin’ Wednesdays!? (She says posting on a Thursday..)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmoss and mini gardens in the mono block

The plan is to work on one small space and project at a time. Wish me luck, I have the mission impossible theme music running through me head at this very moment.  I wish I could say I’m goin’ in now… but that would be a lie, I’ve got the birds to do before another dog walk, before doing  several clients in Edinburgh today….then I might be goin’ in..





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