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Epic battle!


By tatia


I have emerged victorious but it was a close call. Battle lines were drawn and it was me, the underdog, against an army of tangled, virulent and very thorny rambling rose and blackberry vines. The rose was mine, or rather I inherited it with the house and I have been here 9 summers now. The blackberries have crept over the fence and interwoven with the rose up a tree and into my border. I want as pretty little rose arbor in that border but needed to clear it first. Plus, that rose hasn’t had a haircut in years and is looking straggly. I dunno if this is the right time of year or not. A lot of time, I garden by instinct!

First things first, I started by cutting the larger blackberry vines and disposing of them. I make it sound simpler than it was! My arms tell the tale! I do not kid myself that this is the last of them but I can hopefully keep it in check now.

One or two rose tendrils are climbing through the tree and I’ve left them intact but the rest of the plant was just sort of slumped over with no real direction or anything to climb on. I started by cutting away all the accumulated dead wood. Again, I make it sound easier than it was! It was a real mission as most of this dead bit was behind the tree and I had to squidge in and contort myself to avoid any interesting facial piercings. After that, I took a short garden arch, about 3 feet tall, and put it next to the tree and laid the branches over the arch, tying in the longer ones. I finished by deadheading the spent blooms.

I am envisioning a grotto of sorts with the roses cascading riotously over the arch and pretty planting inside. I may put some sculpture of some sort in with taller, leafy plants at the back to create the backdrop but I’m giving it some thought at the moment. Ideas welcome! :-)

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Sound like good old hard work Tatia, well done on getting things done. Bet you were well satisfied at the end of it!
I'm not sure I can offer any suggestion to planting but I'm sure what ever you choose it will look great.

12 Aug, 2013


Sounds like dangerous as well as hard work with all those thorns! Well done for being brave enough to tackle it, I'm sure it'll look great when it's all sorted.

12 Aug, 2013


phew!!! you did well... no its so not easy...

the harder it is (if it does not kill first) lol... the more its so so worth it and does the soul good..

well done you :):)

from jane. :J)

12 Aug, 2013


Sounds lovely, the vision of the grotto I mean, not the hard work cutting it all back.
It would be great to see some photo's, did you take some 'before' photo's, wo we can then see the 'after' result?

12 Aug, 2013


I agree, photo please! Moving brambles is no joke and the wretched things won't give up and lie down, reappearing if you leave a bit of root in. The arbour sounds delightful - more power to your elbow!

12 Aug, 2013


Job well done. I want to see a picture too.
Unfortunately blackberry vines will be coming back again and again, as they always do in my garden. Try to cut them when they are young and tender.

13 Aug, 2013

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