Wistful dreams of gardens past, never made ...

Jack Holloway

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A friend once told me "You're not a gardener, you're a horticulturist. You like to grow things." ...

I can't plan a garden to save my life. I buy plants and seeds because they call to me in some way. I have no idea where to plant them, or even if I have room for them.

I have seeds from Seeds Blüm, remember them? I have seed from LISP. Have you heard of them? Long Island Seed Project, run by Ken Ettlinger I believe. The site hasn't been updated, that I can tell, since 2011. Wonderful site to read.

So many seeds...

On another note, my backyard and garden area has been completely over taken by Himalayan blackberries. Completely. It is overwhelming. I'm easily defeated. I've paid my yard guys many times to cut them down. They are still there. Like cockroaches. Like glitter. Laughing at me. Mocking me. The birds, raccoons, possums, and rats love them though. Should I mention that rats keep invading my basement?

It is all exhausting. Just thinking about it makes me want to escape to reading fan fiction. I hear you laughing. Not all fan fiction is bad (but when it is bad, it is horrible. I'll give you that.) Nor is all of it porn. But I digress...

So, this year I'm trying something new, at least for me. A small garden. A space I can dig out the blackberries and stay on top of them. Limited number of things to grow. Try to keep it all ... manageable.

This is to document my travails in gardening. How well I do, or ... fail. I'm not asking for sympathy, or encouragement. Just a place here to keep a record of my progress; hoping that it will keep me going --- not giving up.

As Hen3ry (the 3 is silent), friend of that famous mathematician, pianist, performer, comedian, mathematics and theater professor, Tom Lehrer said "Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it depends on what you put into it." Here's hoping for good results this year.
 

baymule

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Welcome to the forum! I bought a farm in July 2022. It needs a lot of work. I have wild dewberries every where. My sheep will eat them, but I don’t have enough sheep and only one field fenced for them. Dewberries are wild blackberries and come in earlier than blackberries. I guess I’ll be outside picking a lot of berries.

If you really want those Himalayan blackberries gone, fence them and get a couple of pigs. They will root it down to bare earth, and eat the roots. Feed the pigs out for the freezer. It’s a win-win! :ya

I’m glad you joined the forum. Take pictures of your progress and post them. It’s fun to go back and see what you’ve done.
 

canesisters

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You CAN do this!! One step at a time. You don't have to take down the entire blackberry patch in 1 day. But if you don't make a start, it will still be there this Fall. Power tools will help. My pasture fence lines are overwhelmed every summer by blackberry canes. The very BEST thing I've found to use against them (... other than getting to them Before they get enormous ) is a cordless long reach hedge trimmer. It lets me reach under the long canes and cut them down at the base. Then a rake & pitchfork lets me pull what's been cut out from the mass and load to carry to the burn pile. They make a VERY satisfying "snap" & "sizzle" when they burn
voodoodoll_2[1].gif


Over on BYH I started a thread to document my own journey to overcome a long list of projects that have paralyzed me for years by being 'too overwhelming'. Can you enlist the help of a friend? Just having someone there to offer ideas and encouragement - even if they might not be able to actually do much work - can make a tough job do-able.

I can't wait to see pictures of your achievements and the lovely plants from your seeds.
:thumbsup
 

Phaedra

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When we bought the house, I didn't know so much ivy, blackberry, Mahonia, and blackthorn were growing in all corners. I also didn't realize those seeds spread by birds or wind would bring endless new generations of Thistle, nettle, goat willow, fir, and spruce. As I grew up in a city (a concrete jungle) and never had a garden, I even didn't know what was what. So, I bought several books about local plants and weeds until google lens was available to get some quick information online.

I was frustrated in the first few years. Maybe, I am still a little bit frustrated. However, I am much more relaxed now, after fully giving up the desire to have a clean and tidy garden, like those in the gardening magazines.

I started small and focused small. I used raised beds to enjoy growing and harvesting our own vegetables. Meanwhile, I slowly learned to identify the plants in our garden, how to prune them, and, well, how to cope with them.

Before we moved in, the two owners who lived here were also passionate gardeners. However, no matter how much their preferences shaped what we took over, the garden keeps changing under our efforts. One day in the future, our efforts will vanish as theirs. I wish I could happily garden here for another 20, 25, or 30 years, but that day will come anyway. So, I decided to focus on what I could achieve and enjoy at this moment. Better solutions might come at the right time.

Welcome, and hope that you can enjoy more this year.
 

digitS'

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Jack, if it would have been more easily found, I would have posted a picture showing what was then my 2nd year of gardening on my own. Although I grew up in southern Oregon, with all of its wild blackberries, the garden was on the California coast, with all of its wild blackberries! On the other side of the fence was the back lot of a garage which operated on the nearby arterial. That lot was overrun with berry vines that had invaded our backyard. I sprayed them with weedkiller. This was before I had made more of an organic commitment to vegetable growing but after the time when i was growing up on an Oregon farm and helping Dad pull bushes out of the back pasture with a tractor.

In that picture you can see my friend Terry visiting, standing there, contemplating what I was up to. As @canesisters says, it helps to have others show an interest in your activities. You can also see that I have defined the border of my expanded veggie garden. My commitment was within that space ... not everywhere and beyond.

I was just looking in a binder that holds dozens and dozens of recipes that I have copied from elsewhere. Probably only 1/3rd of these have I tried ;). It's a lot easier to have dreams and to even write them down than to make a committed start on any one of them. Nothing wrong with dreams :) but defining the limits of your activities is an important step.

One thing about living plants is that they have needs and those requirements can be recognized as they grow. It's both a good thing and a difficult thing that turning your back on them feels wrong. Therefore, a start with a garden is very compelling. Best of Luck.

Steve
 

Zeedman

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:plbb
Just wanted to throw that in now, to give you a laugh before the battle begins. I'll be watching over the back fence (on)line.
i was thinking a flame thrower...
I purchased a weed burner last year, and spent the summer kicking self in seat for not having done it sooner. It is a remarkably effective way to keep weeds down in fence lines - and for knocking down weeds that are thorny or irritating. That might be an effective addition to your anti-blackberry arsenal. Perennials such as those will re-sprout; but if you keep "razing canes" before they can re-energize the roots, it might weaken them enough to be killed by other methods. I've done something similar to eliminate thistle from my gardens.
 

ducks4you

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We all are constantly working on cleaning up our gardens and property. :hugs
Unless, of course, you are @ninnymary , who probably is supplementing her garden habit by selling photos of her perfect yard to gardening magazines. :lol:
How do eat an elephant? One little bite at a time.
Don't compare your efforts to anybody else, even us.
Berry bushes never want to die. I have some blackberry bushes that keep growing up next to the south facing garage foundation, the ones with nasty thorns.
Cut them, mow them, and get as much cardboard as is humanly possible. Yeah, poisoning seems like the solution, but that's very expensive for a whole yard.
Laying down thick mats of cardboard will help choke them out and the cardboard will become dirt in 6 weeks if you bury it, or so is the claim of Instahedge, who ship hedges in cardboard pots.
No sun, no berry canes.
IF you can burn them, they burn very well. Otherwise, you can find somebody, some Place to remove the cuttings for you.
 

ninnymary

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We all are constantly working on cleaning up our gardens and property. :hugs
Unless, of course, you are @ninnymary , who probably is supplementing her garden habit by selling photos of her perfect yard to gardening magazines. :lol:
How do eat an elephant? One little bite at a time.
Don't compare your efforts to anybody else, even us.
Berry bushes never want to die. I have some blackberry bushes that keep growing up next to the south facing garage foundation, the ones with nasty thorns.
Cut them, mow them, and get as much cardboard as is humanly possible. Yeah, poisoning seems like the solution, but that's very expensive for a whole yard.
Laying down thick mats of cardboard will help choke them out and the cardboard will become dirt in 6 weeks if you bury it, or so is the claim of Instahedge, who ship hedges in cardboard pots.
No sun, no berry canes.
IF you can burn them, they burn very well. Otherwise, you can find somebody, some Place to remove the cuttings for you.
Ducks, every morning I take a walk around my garden looking for a weed. I get so excited on the rare occasion that I find one and have something to pull. I'm always pondering why I don't have weeds yet others do. hahahaha

Mary
 
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