Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Dark and Evil Forest (My Backyard)

The house (or “terraced” as they call it here) that I rent from the college has a nice little garden in the back. As I mentioned shortly after moving in, I did not have much motivation to take good care of the garden. Then later that year, when I discovered a giant monster spider named Shelob living there, I decided that it was a good idea never to set foot in the garden again.

A year later, as one might expect, the garden began to get a bit overgrown. Actually, it began to get a lot overgrown. It looked like the deepest and darkest part of the Amazon jungle: I keep expecting to see anacondas and jaguars.

Unfortunately, it is written in my lease that I am supposed to keep the garden under control, and the all-knowing powers-that-be at college found out what it looked like and sent me an email reminder
This is just a gentle reminder that we do expect the tenants of College houses to keep the garden of their house under control
(This was actually one of the 363 emails that were lost this summer, so I managed to spend the whole summer thinking I had gotten away with my jungle experiment.)

This is what my garden looked like yesterday:
My excuse – that I’m turning the garden into a forest to combat global warming – might not go very far. So early this morning, I went and got myself some garden shears and a bunch of large garden-waste bags and went to work. My first shock was that most of the huge plants that you see in the picture are actually stinging nettles. Although you can apparently make good food from this stuff, the plants are plenty nasty. Even with thick gloves on they can sting you, and it really hurts! You can get some major welts that last for days. So the weed cutting went very slow as I only very gently approached these evil beasts.

Bit by bit, I filled up waste-bag after waste-bag. No doubt this is going to be a long project. So far, this morning, I pulled weeds for about three hours before I ran into Shelob, the monster spider, who scared me back inside. I decided that I’m not going to do any more gardening until later in the fall when it becomes too cold for spiders.

This is where I left the situation.

I know it doesn’t look all that much better, but maybe it is a start. It is hard to even see that it has improved, but believe it or not, there were four full-sized garbage bags of weeds removed from the yard between the first and second photo. At least there are one or two places where you can actually see the ground in the second photo.


Susanne said...

Good grief! That must be a federal crime, in a country where everyone uses nail scissors to keep their little lawns perfectly neat.

Maybe you should hire someone to clean up this mess. Though I'm not sure what profession. This is way beyond any gardener's training. Henry Stanley perhaps.

shalaree said...

steeeeeve - you need a new entry!!!!
or alternatively spend any time not blogging by cutting weeds in your garden.
c ;-)