Posts Tagged ‘Bamboo’

So: after almost twenty months, more Estate Agents than I ever hope to encounter again in the rest of my life, an architect, a team of builders and a deep immersion in the auction houses of London, I am moving into my new house this weekend.

The children have already seen it and given it their unconditional approval, which is heartening, as I chose it largely with them in mind – as you would, of course. When I saw it, I wasn’t completely convinced – in fact, I was quite anti: but the endorsements of Sister, Parents, Old Friend at Work and Best Friend all brought me round and now I am enamoured with it. This is probably due, in no small part, to the fact that it no longer has mahogany floorboards, a black quartz kitchen floor and blue and white tiles in the bathrooms (one of the reasons I have spent so long not living in a house that I have owned for six months is that I decided to bite the bullet, do ALL the work – and spend ALL the money, rather than do it in drips and drabs, which would be disruptive – and I think everyone’s had enough disruption to be getting on with…), and is now exactly as I would want it.

It’s also the first time that I’ve lived in a house of this style: very modern and open-plan, rather than old and self-contained rooms. Again, I am now delighted with this way of living, and it’s also quite therapeutic to be living a new life in a new kind of space, rather than in a version of the houses that I shared with Ex Wife.

So: good times ahead. The children are excited, and I’m excited. If I can put up with the navy blue front door until the Spring, when I shall re-paint it (and there’s more than enough woodwork to be painting in the meantime), then all shall be rosy in the garden. Assuming some cunt hasn’t planted bamboo in there…

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You wouldn’t fucking BELIEVE it, would you?

After the lengths that I went to to cleanse our garden of the horrors of Bamboo (including digging a trench so deep and wide that Wife actually accused me of having joined a Somme re-enactment society), the shitting stuff has returned! Much like that other plant that we seem to be nurturing throughout our garden (Convulvulus), it seems to resist everything known to man. I wouldn’t be surprised to learnt that the four survivors of nuclear holocaust would be germs, cockroaches, Convulvulus and Bamboo…

Anyway, I have decided to make my peace with it. I am channelling a new, more peaceful, “roll with it” strain of my personality – and it’s making me much happier over all, and so I see the return of the Bamboo as God’s final test of this determination to be a better man – and I shall rise to the challenge, by tipping the Bamboo a cheery wink, as I prune it down to the ground, but fall short of tearing it out of the accursed ground with my hands and then setting fire to it…

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The Garden

I have, according to Wife, many virtues: but it seems that planting is not one of them.

I had decided that I had re-created the great Gertrude Jekyll’s principle of planting huge drifts of plants all in the same colour, great beds filled with tulips, others over-flowing with hellebores, others with lavendar and rosemary. It appears that what I have done is created a garden that Wife is “depressed to set foot in. I can’t really see why: the tulips look fantastic (which, given that I got over-excited and spent £70 on bulbs is just as well), and there is a fuck of a lot less of the old over-grown rubbish that had been suffocating the plants – but there is still much to do, it’s true.

For a start, that cunting Bamboo that I worked so assiduously to destroy is creeping back, like a disliked school-friend who has just discovered Facebook; and the Convulvulus that I spend every Spring ripping out is its usual buoyant self, returning in persistent green twists to strangle whatever it can reach. Ah well: I love it. I love sitting and drinking in it, without being overlooked by anyone. I love working in it, and I love the prospect of moving things around until it is deemed that I have added planting to my many gifts.

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It’s Back

That shitting, benighted, underhand and unethical Bamboo is BACK.

At the moment, it is just a few thick stalks: horticultural erections straining through the earth – but we all know what the bamboo’s game plan is, don’t we? WORLD DOMINATION. Not content with having sucked all the nutrients out of the soil, rendering it about as easy to grow something else there as it would be to grow it in Tarmac, the hideous stuff has to muscle in like an unwanted relative at a reunion.

I don’t know what shape my revenge shall take. But it will be taken – especially as there is a trip to the garden centre lined up for us this morning (there have been more than twenty hours of bright sunshine, so we are compelled to burn all our food in the outdoors from hereon in…), as well as a mission to find a Ceanothus that will mask the bright orange horror that is lurching over the fence from next door. I shall be revenged.

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Saturday, 26th May 2007

Back from New York, blah blah blah – let’s get down to the real story: people who plant bamboo in gardens should be killed.

It says something that three weeks after the event, and after a wonderful week in New York, the thing that I most need to blog about is the marathon efforts that I went to to dig up the thicket of bamboo that the previous occupants had planted.

To be fair, Previous Occupants had designed a magnificent garden in a style that we like: lots of fruit trees, roses and a curving lawn. HOWEVER, they had also plunged a bamboo dagger into the heart of the garden – a great thicket of the stuff along the right hand fence. I had blithely assumed that it would be the work of a morning to dig the stuff out and replace it with a couple of apple trees and Oak Leaf Hydrangea. What I had not banked on was the fact that bamboo grow roots as thick as a rectory table, that needed to be entirely dug up, and then SAWN THROUGH in small 6 inch square lumps. 

Operation That Shitting Fuck Bamboo ended up taking a grand total of 32 hours, and I am DELIGHTED to announce that it’s still not over. There is an area about a foot square that grows under the boundary fence. It can’t be dug out (because it will send the fence down), it can’t be dried and burned (because it will send the fence up) – it has to be poisoned, so it squats on the periphery of the garden, floating over the earth pit I dug out to expose it in all its hellish persistence. Wife has taken to calling this area of the garden “Your Trench” (and there is something a little “Journey’s End” about it – and I need to poison the thing to ensure it doesn’t grow back. That will be a joy of the sort that Lucrezia Borgia felt when she embarked on one of her ritzier Mandragora-based escapades. I hope I manage to refrain from maniacal cackling as the venom gets to work, but I am promising NOTHING.

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Sunday, 27th May 2007

On the plus side, there is a retail experience involved. Not that we have been short on those recently – I half expect to see my bankcard cowering in my wallet like someone out of an NSPCC ad.

On the minus side, that retail experience shall take place in a B&Q, will involve a lawnmower, some poison and a lot of earth.

Yes: today is garden day. The day when, a week in, I finally move all the stuff out of the garden and restore it to its former glory – not a minute too soon. 

So, this will involve a trip to the tip to get rid of the bamboo and various border plants that have revealed themselves to be of a sickly magenta hue, as well as the celebrated, much-advertised bamboo poisoning.

It’s worth writing down here (for me, that is – it’s probably boring as hell to read for you) to ensure that I do it. I shall write again this evening and shall make it honest, decent and truthful – as the industry I toil in claims itself to be…

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Sunday, 27th May 2007

The bamboo is no more. It has been taken to the communal tip, where it can spread its misery before being incinerated and turned into compost (which is apparently what they do: which is pleasingly green). 

My WWII trench remains, however. I couldn’t be arsed to go to that haven of middle-aged men in tracksuits that is B&Q to buy the poison necessary to stamp out the evil root before filling the trench, re-shaping the lawn and adding the Royal Worcester tree. That is tomorrow’s rain-blighted treat.

After the tip, I made a detour to my parents’ home to TRY and pick up Eldest Son. He decided he was having none of it and has negotiated himself another night chez Granma and Grandpa: not that they’d have it any other way.

So, now Wife and I and Daughter and Youngest Son have just finished making biscuits. Daughter made Angels and Teapots (which sounds like a gift shop in somewhere chi-chi like Harrowgate), and Youngest Son made Sharks: sharks being what he would ideally populate the world with, paint his bedroom with and spend all his time looking at. He’ll either be a Marine Biologist or a cold-hearted, cold-eyed killer…

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