I spent a hot day with my pruning saw, always a pleasure - if a rather sweaty one. Do you remember a tall pine tree fell down in a gale earlier in the year? It's made us look at the other pines in the garden, all of which are about the same age, were topped about 35 years ago and, since then, have not grown taller but have bushed out at the top, making them top-heavy. In short, they are coming down before any more fall.
The nearest to the house is being felled tomorrow (I promise you, it's not a fine tree and we will plant at least one more to replace it). In preparation, Friend with a Chainsaw came and cleared some undergrowth yesterday. This has left a space. Left, it will be filled with Stuff. Untidy Stuff, because the Sage is something of a magpie. I have learned, over the years (and I am untidy too) that the best way to avoid this is not to leave a space in the first place.
Between the Space and the lawn is a very old fence held up with ivy and some scrubby lilacs overgrown with brambles. It's all coming out. The lilacs have spread out over the years, dying back in the centre - which has let in the brambles. Oh, and next to the Space was a large, self-seeded 15 or more years ago, flowering currant. Was. I took it out this morning. This afternoon, I attacked the rest of the undergrowth. The Sage was startled when he arrived home. "We were doing that tomorrow, weren't we?"
I feel some regret taking out the ivy, as so many insects live in it, but at least it is not in flower and it's not hibernating time. There are many other places for wildlife in the garden, without worrying about the brambles and ivy right next to the house. I might end up with a more attractive garden, if I don't falter.