Not so thornless 

Hanging out the washing today reminded me of when I lived in Greece. Hot and dry – brilliant for washing. Not so fab when you’re trying to dig out dandelions, which was another job on the list.

Maybe it’s my imagination or maybe there are more of what I consider to be weeds this year. If only my spinach would grow so well!

Sometimes, I wonder why we bother with annuals at all, considering the heartache they provoke. The courgettes have failed to germinate, as have the aubergines. The latter were no shows last year, too, so I think it is the seeds. On the other hand, at this time last year, I had six courgette plants.

Perennials can have their moments, too, though. Whilst trying to get my spade in the concrete for soil, I noticed thorned stems growing from the blackberry bush. I’ve got the thorned variety growing from the roots elsewhere in the garden but this is the clincher.


The thornless blackberry bush is going to the municipal compost heap, unless I can Freegle it, at the end of the season. I don’t mind digging up the annual vegetable patch to get at roots but the forest garden, where it has now moved to, is another matter.

Let’s hope there are lots of berries this year (none last), so my daughter can have one last home-based forage for them. Then we’ll stick to all the ones growing everywhere else.

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About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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34 Responses to Not so thornless 

  1. Lovely update thank you for sharing Helen

  2. Kalamain says:

    This is why I put my blackberry in a pot! We had to deal with many gardens that had blackberries (more like simple brambles) growing everywhere. I have so many scars on my legs now it’s unreal!
    Did you ever get fruit from it, BTW?

    • Helen says:

      Oh yes, before I moved it, it was quite prolific. Took a year or two to get established. But apart from the roots causing problems, it is too large a plant for my garden.

      I’d rather have raspberries I think, though.

  3. Kalamain says:

    Bugger… Meant to mention. I picked up a tiny fork from b&q the other day. It’s epic for getting out dandies.
    Or it was in my garden anyway. Got LOADS out!

  4. If you’re going to the trouble of digging up the dandelions, why not use them? Did you know that the root, dried, is a super food?

    • Helen says:

      I had thought about using them – the leaves don’t appeal but I do occasionally drink ‘coffee’ made from the root. I’ll look into making that one of these days – I wish there were more hours in the day to do everything I want to do!

      The leaves are now in the compost, where at least their goodness can go back into the soil 😊.

  5. I hope you get lots of berries for the last hurrah. Sorry to hear about the failed crops. 😦

  6. sorry about your failed germinations – I thought my courgettes had failed, so I sowed more – now I have too many. Shame I can’t transport them to you via the blog!

  7. patsquared2 says:

    I love dandelions. They are the first flowers for pollinators in our neck of the woods. The flowers make great wine….the young leaves are great in a fresh salad and they are everywhere. Weeds are just plants growing where we don’t want them…

  8. Kalamain says:

    Hey, Helen…
    Didn’t know of any other way to get something to you… Not sure if you are interested or not…

    http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/6456a108-4fdb-4010-91bf-97df2097d244/pages/details

    Just letting you know.

    • Helen says:

      Thank you very much! I’m planning to build the second hugel bed in the herb garden this Friday but I’ll put the other two days in my diary 😊.

  9. It’s been a strange year for seed germination for me, all sorts of usually dependable varieties have failed for me, beans, sweetcorn, carrots…. the list goes gone, i’ve been rushing to re-sow….., the danger is now i could be harvesting at Christmas…

    • Helen says:

      Same here, I fear! I did get a couple more cauliflowers out tonight but they aren’t going to ready any time soon, anyway, are they?

  10. suburbable says:

    Let the plants that you like self seed. Eventually you get a cover of your favorites and weeding will be a pleasure rather than a chore and there’s no need to dig.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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