When I first started gardening on my plot I found quite a large area of raspberry canes. I cleared it of weeds and thought that the problem was solved. Not so easy, though. The raspberries had a different idea and grew with renewed vigour. It was so bad that I had to wear long trousers and jackets on the warmest days just to pick the fruit and not to be scratched to bits.
An opportunity came to have an extra piece of land – overgrown, of course. After clearing it and re-planting the best of my canes again I thought that I’d solved it. Not so.
Third time lucky then – yet again re-planted the canes, this time in double rows with a path between them and lined the paths with a tough membrane (my friend Judith had a large piece left after re-lining their pond). At last the raspberries thrived and I had an easy harvest this year.
I knew there was something else I could do but that depended on getting a nice load of wood or bark chippings. I think it is very important to know the right kind of people – and I did this time. A few doors away from the elderly lady who used to come and chat to me lives Mary. Her son Wayne is a tree surgeon (Allen Arboriculture, Coventry) and yesterday he just happened to have a truck-full of chipped tulip tree wood. Not only does it do the job just perfectly but also it gives off such delightful scent.
It was a morning job because I had Frank to help – he’s not a keen gardener but a huge asset for any gardener – helps with heavy work, like horse manure collecting, wood chips loading and spreading, the kind of helper worth his weight in gold.