In which pride comes before a fall.

Early last year we cleared some space for a shady nook behind the Cedar. Then I didn’t have time to do anything with it and the stumps resprouted and brambles re-emerged. So today I attacked it to bring it back to the place it was last year in the hope I’ll get to it this season. It looks ok (minus brambles) anyway thanks to the rampant Vinca major which gives it a veneer of prettyness even while still technically ‘undone’.

I was in there trampling and ripping and generally making a mess in the interests of tidying up when I found this.


One of the plants cleared in the original deforestation was a tall and very spindly and top heavy Magnolia grandiflora. So now I’m really glad I didn’t get round to digging out stumps or killing them off because look! Shiny new Magnolia leaves. I patted myself on the back (for what I’m not quite sure, but there was definitely a feeling of smug), took a photo and continued clearing brambles.

Some minutes later I grabbed a big bundle of bramble stems and hauled it; stems were pinging out from beneath the Vinca left, right and centre (the Vinca will not be troubled by the harsh treatment in case you were wondering). And there came a little ‘snap’ and the beautiful shiny upright shoot from the Magnolia toppled over unceremoniously.

Dear reader, I swore.

And the moral is… don’t just haul on a bramble stem and hope. Especially not in the vicinity of a plant you were wishing to preserve.

P.S There is a sprinkling of flowers on the Vinca. In January!

Vinca flower bud


12 responses to “In which pride comes before a fall.

  1. Poor little plant. Those brambles take revenge I hear.

  2. Poor you!

    Don’t worry, though. The Magnolia will branch and not be spindly and too tall this time!

  3. OOps, hit a wrong button. Here is the completed info.

  4. Hi Libby, If m.grandiflora not only grows with you, but seeds itself, you are twice blessed in any event. Bad luck, all the same.

  5. patientgardener

    Oh no – how exciting and then how disappointing.

  6. I sympathise completely. I have been known to do something similar. In fact I am pretty clumsy in the garden. Put me in an herbaceous border and I will invariably stand on something, decapitate something or cut away the wrong stem. I’m sure my plants quiver when they see me coming !!!

  7. Hope the magnolia comes back for you. They’re one of my favorite trees.

  8. another saying comes to mind too:”more haste, less speed” or is it “where angels fear to tread”. Sorry for your loss – the Vinca on the other hand is immortal 😉

  9. I would want the magnolia, always but the vinca, never! I had so much of that to clear in this garden and it still reappears usually out of the wall!

  10. All to easily done – I managed to prune the top of a new shrub on its way to my customer by shutting the car boot on it.

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