Green recycling – does burning weeds count or not….

I am now making progress in the garden as the weather has been dry but cooler for the last couple of days.  Our new compost pile has being seeing some use, but I have a dilemma about just quite what to put in it. It is very tempting to just shove all my weeding material in there.     Unfortunately very large percentage of what I would like to put in it is weeds or grass which would apparently not be the right mix.   The final decision about how much should be composted and how much should be burned was made for me when I discovered that some the nettles had ‘Black Fly’ on them.  If the black fly should spread it would be bad for the orchard in general and the new “wee pear trees” in particular. With that in mind, burning the affected thistles was the only option really.

So the up shot of this is, I now have a large a pile of stuff that has to be burned as usual…   We do not get issued composting bins out in ‘the stix’….. I suppose the carbon foot print would be too great ie picking it up from here and taking it some where else in Fife.  We would probably need a whole lorry just for us once a month.

Only about one tenth of what I have to burn

I have also noticed that I seem to have developed OCD  when it comes to weeds.  I find myself  with wheelbarrows loads of the same stuff.  Yesterday it was three barrow loads of thistles and three barrow loads of nettles.  Today it was four barrow loads of nettles and nine barrow loads of the remains of a New Zealand flax (that died of exposure during one of the severe winters we had back in 2010/11 and now sufficiently rotted away to be finally pulled out).  I decided to look into this and discovered two points (1) that most things seem to grow in patches and (2) I get into the rhythm of exerting just the right amount of tug to pull out a particular variety of weed.

The remains of the previous ‘burny pile’

They say ‘a weed is only a plant in the wrong place’.   I have also taken pity on some of the so called ‘weed’s.  I had to weed a path to the site of the last fire I had lit and on the way I came across a clump of very healthy looking mint.  You can see it in the center of the image above.  This mint must have escaped the last burning and I know for sure it came from what is now the ‘tattie patch’.  My friends and visitors are always admiring the mint plants in the garden so I dug it up and put it in a pot.  So that weed is now free to a good home, along with the ‘lemon balm’ I dug out of a border two days ago.

I also rescued what I think is a wee damson tree from that border too but I am hanging on to that.  I think it got in the  border because I have a habit of eating plums and greengages as I wander round the garden and discarding the stones in the borders.  Root stock for both plum trees and greenage is the wild damson.

The damson tree potted up and unafraid of the big wide world as it has been fending for itself already.

The growing conditions on the site of the ‘burny pile’ must be excellent because I also came across a magnificent looking specimen of that emblem of Scotland the  ‘Scottish Thistle’.  It must be the high potash levels….. it only took two weeks to get to this size.  I checked the date and found that the last time I lit a bonfire was when I posted my blog ‘Underneath the cherry tree and unexpected gifts’.  Every thing else in the garden is coming on too, but I will save that for the next blog.

This is biggest thistle in the garden….. look it is the same height as the spade.

Actually when I dug it up, I found out it was actually two thistles.  No, I did not keep them I put it on the bonfire with the giant ‘docken’ in the background of the shot.

Any hoo, on to lighting the bonfire.  I wanted it to go first time, so I used the old Xmas Tree which had dried out nicely with some cardboard, paper and just the one match.

Bonfire pre lighting the match

This photo was taken a minute later.

Whoosh and away it went.

The smells coming off the bonfire were great.  There was some mint, some angelica, (some snails maybe too), elephants ears, nettles.  Does this count as a BBQ or cooking over an open fire….. may be not.   Should I be worried about my carbon emissions or am I just recycling to make potash to put on the garden…… Questions, Questions.

Remember too that no weed killers or pesticides were used……. You cannot have it all roads.

So now I have done my blog on composting versus non carbon neutral recycling of heavily infested thistles, I am off for a very much-needed soak it the bath.




About lejardineduroyaume

The property has a walled garden and an orchard containing 50 fruit trees which date back to the 15th Century. These fairly mature trees need to be replaced by grafting scions onto root stock to create young trees. I would also like to get more from my garden by growing my own vegetables, salads and herbs. I would also like help my significant other to re-establish a physic garden on this site.
This entry was posted in compost, Garden, Green recycling, Heritage plants and Fruit Trees, Organic pest control, Walled garden and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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