Before And After: The North Breeze Boundary

‘Boundary’ is a polite term for what should have separated our garden from that of ‘North Breeze’, the unoccupied house to the west of ours. It stretches from front to back from the street to the corner of the back drive and most of the way down that.

I learned this when the Head Gardener decided to hack through the undergrowth on that side of our brick path. Until then I had enjoyed a short-lived oblivion.



I began on the section adjacent to the patio. This is what I found on 26th May 2014. The lonicera hedge had romped with brambles over and through the bits and pieces that were meant to divide the gardens, rooted on our side, and sent further stems to settle further in. I really rather wanted to go home, until I remembered I was already there.

Lonicera tangle

By 1st June I had cut my way to a length of strong wire. I still had to dig out the root shown on our side.

Netting fence

There was quite a lot of netting lying around the garden. We gathered this up and the next day I reinforced what I could make out of the dividing line. I could now see where I had come from, if not yet where I was going.

Blackbird's eggs in nest

The day after that, mother nature granted me a respite, in the form of a blackbird’s nest, complete with eggs. I clearly could not disturb this any more than I had done already. I waited patiently for another couple of weeks whilst the parent incubated her offspring. Then a magpie struck. This story was not inspired by Bruce Goodman, although I trust that fine storyteller would approve of it.

Adjoining fence of IKEA wardrobes

On 21st July, I continued my makeshift fence with discarded IKEA wardrobe sections.

Lonicera hedge far corner

I had reached the far corner, and was about to turn into the back drive. Oh, joy.


Ivy covered stump

Brambles and ivy proliferated, even rooting in the line of dead stumps, and, of course, across the drive itself.

Wire netting in hedge 1

Wire netting had become entwined with the infiltrators. The iron stake in the bottom left of this photograph was one of two rows each of four lining either side of the drive.

Derrick hacksawing iron stake

They were deeply buried in concrete, so I had to hacksaw most of them off.

Rooting out

Having reached the five-barred gate at the far end on 16th October I made a photograph showing the lopping of the griselinia and the rooting out of brambles.

I stayed inside today, whilst Jackie continued her sterling clearance work.

For the first dinner I have been able to face in two days, I opted for a bacon sandwich which I enjoyed. I required no liquid sustenance. How long, I wonder, will an opened bottle of malbec stay potable? Fortunately there was still some curry left for The Cook,

Published by derrickjknight

I am a septuagenarian enjoying rambling physically and photographing what I see, and rambling in my head as memories are triggered. I also ramble through a lifetime's photographs

36 thoughts on “Before And After: The North Breeze Boundary

  1. Phew! I was tired when I came to the end of this piece. Glad you stayed inside today and that you enjoyed that bacon sandwich. These fall bugs are not much fun.

  2. That was a massive job Derrick! What a difference you have made to this property! I know what you mean about wanting to go home – I’m facing that with carting buckets of unneeded soil from the back courtyard, through the house to it’s new home – horrid job!! I suspect my little job will still be ongoing at Christmas. Glad to see you are feeling better – a bacon sandwich is a sure sign! 🙂

  3. I’m really enjoying your posts on your garden transformation. It’s obviously a tremendous amount of work, but how satisfying to have that work produce something tangible and lovely. Glad you are feeling better. Use the Malbec in cooking and open a new bottle!

  4. Hard work well done. Yes, I often wonder if people knew how it could spread whether they would still plant the honeysuckle and a whole host of other things, especially here in Sydney where almost every plant, other than endemic natives, has weed potential, including Australian natives from other parts.

    1. I have been known to wander down that border with glyphosphate in a sprayer, since the path was cleared, seems to at least keep the brambles and lonicera bushes their side of the fence.

  5. So glad you’re better and still resting. What a job you have done on various parts of your overgrown and now paradisical garden. I use these little rubber stoppers in my wine that enable me to pump the air out. Works a treat to keep the stuff from oxidizing!

  6. That is quite an undertaking good sir! A reminder of how nature will completely take over if not put in check by humans sense of style and form. I too am tired just having reviewed your efforts. Rest now and keep an eye on that wine!

  7. Thank you for the story a day push of my blog! You can buy artificial nests and birds eggs I’m sure, and suitably place them in the romping lonicera hedge whenever you need a respite. I’m sure the Head Gardener would be fooled. Unless of course you were foolish enough to put the nests out in midwinter.

  8. Glad to hear you’re feeling a wee bit better, enough to manage this post and take some sustenance. And what a pleasant surprise to see the image of this blog’s author in action, albeit strewn across the earth hacking away in labor. (At first glance I thought maybe you were about to take a nap.)

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