Reclaiming the abandoned paddock!

Unearthing another garden


A daunting task.. but needed tackling straight away. Our paddock enjoys perhaps the best views out over the surrounding countryside but initially it was hard to appreciate. A couple of thousand Sq.M. of overgrown grass, piles of wood and worst of all... a giant swathe of impenetrable brambles lining the road side. Here's where we started out from :-


I had bought a petrol powered strimmer to tackle this but on inspection it was never going to do the job.  I suspect even with a brush cutter attachment it still would have taken quite some time so it all had to be manually cleared. With some great assistance from my mum and dad we managed to get through those brambles in the best part of a day by just hacking at them by hand with an old sickle and a bill hook (found lying in one of the barns  and given a new lease of life on a bench grinder).

So, with the brambles cleared we could see what we were dealing with.  The old fence was wonky, collapsed in some places and patched up with bits of wire in others.  A couple of the old posts were  in danger of toppling over as they hadn't been set in the ground properly. Nothing for it but to take the lot out again and to re-make the fence. 

We decided that a nice laurel hedge would suit the roadside face of the paddock, this may be used as a drive if we put in a new entrance at the bottom of the paddock. We bought enough laurels to easily cover the  25m of hedging that would have to be planted.  Joan set-to manually weeding out the many, many hundreds of bramble roots that had been left in the soil and removing some major granite rocks. We had let the brambles sprout some fresh new tender leaves and then treated each plant with a dose of systemic weed killer. It was about 80% effective after two treatments but the very deep rooted resilient plants are still growing even after several passes at pulling up the remaining root system.

After all that work, planting the new hedge was quite a simple task and the end result above is a much improved look to the paddock.