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Another session with the overgrown pond today, and I’ve at last had a go at the sadly overgrown forsythia which dominates that corner. It’s interwoven with an equally neglected Kerria japonica, and though they make quite a display in the spring, it’s in that brassy yellow which is better reserved for my kids’ paintboxes. They’ve got to go.

So out came the pruning saw, loppers and secateurs, and I’ve now got a towering pile of bonfire material waiting for me to set a match to it. The area looks a whole lot clearer already, but I’ve yet to tackle the really difficult bit – digging out those massive rootstocks. There must be 15 years’ worth of growth there, and it’s going to be a horrible job.

I’ve put it off for now, as failing light meant I had the perfect excuse, but before long I’ll have to put the concrete breaker to it – my standard solution to unyielding shrub and tree roots. It’s a massive piece of iron, so heavy I can barely lift it, with a spike on one end and a wedge on the other. Once you’ve dug a hole into the rootball, you thrust the spike into its heart, and then jump on the other end – it takes a few attempts, but I’ve yet to come across the rootball that can withstand the onslaught! Easy work it is not, though – I’m not looking forward to this…

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