The jungle at the bottom of our garden resembles a murder scene. There's no blood and gore, I grant you, rather it is death by strangulation, a particularly nasty way to meet Your Maker, I have always thought. Yes, indeed,
the Bandit Bindweed is here, there and everywhere.
It being a beautiful sunny day, I decide that I have neglected The Jungle of late. I buy two Council green sacks from the local hardware store (80p each,
including collection next Wednesday- what a bargain) and promise Mr B that I will pace myself. I will fill one sack today and the other tomorrow.
I should have known better. Garden sacks are like glasses of
wine; it is hard to stick to just the one. Besides I hadn't realised that the blackberry bushes were crying out for salvation from the Vicious Vine which had wrapped its tendrils, stickily, around every fruit-bearing branch. In I waded, like a community police
officer on the scene of the crime. "'Allo, 'allo, 'allo, what's going on here?"
Blackberry bushes are pretty lethal, aren't they? I seem to remember somebody once telling me that the razor sharp thorns were
to prevent marauding birds from making off with the berries. Someone should have told the Bandit Bindweed, which seems impervious to the danger. Carefully I snip away, freeing the blackberry bushes from the stranglehold. There are, I notice with satisfaction,
a lot more berries ripening on the branches than was first apparent when the bindweed was at its most rampant.
Mr B arrives on the scene to check on my progress. I have already filled one garden sack and made
a start on filling the second. So much for pacing myself. I am on a roll. My Armchair Gardener watches me pulling away at the bindweed, like a one-person Tug 'o' War and tells me that I really should be digging it up at the roots. There is a difference, I
tell him sweetly (and breathlessly) between what I should do and what I am able to do. He concedes the point gracefully and heads off kitchenwards to make me a cup of coffee. He is already salivating, I can tell, at the thought of the apple and blackberry
pies I will be baking in the weeks to come.
Oh, it is so lovely out here in the garden. The buddleia is in full bloom so the butterflies are in their element; my faithful robin is keeping me close company
while the male blackbird is sunning himself, spreading his wings out on the grass like a true sun-bather on holiday. The blackbirds, male and female, remind me of Mr B and me. Only with feathers, obviously. She is always looking out for him. He is always looking
out for her.
I am not kidding myself that one day the Jungle will be tamed; there will always be plenty to keep me busy and I rather like it that way. Though if I could banish the Creeping One I'd be a Happy
Bunny. I am bearing many war wounds after the Battle of the Bindweed. My arms have been scratched to bits by the brambles. You might have expected a little more gratitude from them, bearing in mind my selfless Act of Random Kindness in releasing them from
the stranglehold of the Vicious Vine.
It occurs to me that the most fertile earth in our garden must be here in the Jungle. Why else would everything here be growing so fast and so furiously? Whereas some
of the plants in the Sunflower Wall against the garden fence are definitely struggling more than others. Regular readers may recall that I have allocated a plant to each of the ten grandchildren. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters, on a recent visit, thought
it a trifle unfair that the plants allocated to the eldest four grandchildren (including her two off-spring) had clearly been planted in poor ground. In fact, it is quite clear that the further along the Sunflower Wall, the better the prospects. Currently
Tala's is making a bid to be Top Of The Wall, having just about overtaken Sam's which had a head start. There is All To Play For, especially if I take a trip to the hardware store for some plant food. All's fair in love, war and the Sunflower Wall.
My garden and me. My very own precious Piece of Paradise.
Barring the Bandit Bindweed.