A slight obsession with books

Reading and Fibrecrafts

Welcome to the jungle


My back garden was lovely once. There was a paved patio with a step going up to a gravelled area with a pond. There were a couple of large conifers and a small selection of flowers. I grew tomatoes and cucumbers in my greenhouse as well as some other salad veg and some soft fruit. I spent a lot of time out there and loved it.

Then one year, the trees at the back of us had a wasp nest, or maybe it was bees. I’m not sure which, but what I do know is that our entire garden was swarming with them all summer. I didn’t go out there. It was thick with flying, buzzing, stinging insects. The garden got very neglected.

The following year, the wasps were there again. And the year after, and the one after that. For five or six years, our garden was out-of-bounds. Brambles came over from one neighbouring garden. Snowberry came over from another. Two very invasive plants. There’s ivy coming from over the back and everything else is completely overgrown.

Also, because the garden wasn’t being used as a garden, it got used as a dumping ground. The remains of our old kitchen got thrown out there when we had a new one fitted. When we had to clear out the loft, some of the contents ended up outside, ready to go to the tip. We never seemed to find the time to take all the junk to the tip so we now have a jungle/rubbish heap outside our back door.


Shocking, isn’t it. Just look at these brambles.


Last year there wasn’t a nest but the garden still didn’t get any attention as to be honest, I didn’t know where to start. At the end of the year, I decided that enough was enough and went out there to do a bit of clearing. Like an idiot, I spent three hours working hard to make a dent in it and managed to hurt my back. I could barely stand up for the next three weeks. That was the end of my enthusiasm to sort out the garden for a while.

I really would like to grow some veg again, especially as we’re trying to eat a more healthy diet now. So, I ventured back out. This time, I took the timer with me and set it for 30 minutes. Once the time was up, I downed tools and came back inside. If I can do half an hour out there most days, it will get cleared, and hopefully without any more back pain.

So far I’ve done three lots of 30 minutes and I can really see where I’ve been. I’ve mostly cut back brambles on the gravelled area. This is where I’ve cleared.


And here.


There’s more to clear in that area as I’ve only done it roughly so far, but the worst is done and it’s good to see a result.

This is the pile of brambles and conifer that I’ve cut so far.


I just need to get that lot bagged up and taken down the tip.

The reason I’m putting this on my blog is mostly to encourage me to get it done. You’ve seen it now so I feel I have to keep going so I can show some progress photos. Hopefully with the warmer weather we’ve been forecast, I’ll be able to get out there over the weekend. Maybe soon it will be a back garden again and I can stop referring to it as the back jungle.


Author: Carole

The books I read, the things I make, the places I go.

8 thoughts on “Welcome to the jungle

  1. small steps will take you far


  2. Little steps Carole, always the best way. Don’t look at the big picture, just the little one you are working on today. πŸ™‚


  3. You are so right about the small bursts of activity adding up to a lot of success. Our garden gets neglected too – we don’t know where to start or what to do, it seems too big a task, there isn’t time… All excuses really. We are making a start this year and progress can be seen… Even if it is slow. I will watch your progress with interest.


    • I’m glad I’m not alone, although my back jungle is particularly bad. It is satisfying when you can see some progress isn’t it. Good luck with yours πŸ™‚


  4. Yes, it looks like a big job, but you’re doing good!


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