About fifteen years ago, more like twenty actually I extended the area of our garden dramatically. It was part of my ornamental grasses phase, that phase never really went away and neither have the grasses, however, while the grasses thrived so did brambles, and Ash seedlings, Hazel bushes, some of the things I planted and some plants went bananas. In anticipation of our NGS opening we have had to ‘grasp the nettle’ and get stuck in taking control back. The nice thing is that amongst the disorder some plants have really flourished and after rescue and a little TLC are looking rather lovely. Today we tidied a Bramley apple that was planted even before grasses got me, maybe forty years ago, it is big, even venerable and that makes me feel old. After some deadwooding and pruning the lower branches the challenge was pulling out the brambles that although cut off were entangled fifteen feet up in the crown of the tree, much tugging and snipping eventually cleared the entanglement, the tree now is ready to receive visitors.

The Ivy will remain, so many of our friendly wildlife benefit from Ivy that it has to stay.