Remember that I set out to impose a haircut on my pyracantha, but then got sidetracked? Well, it's still waiting and, with a few strong winds having blown of late, becoming rather more urgent. The problem is that the pyracantha grows across the top of a trellis...
and when the wind catches hold of the lofty new growth, the whole plant sways alarmingly, threatening to tear my trellis clean away from its fairly substantial frame!
Besides, the next door neighbours aren't over-keen on it growing onto their flat roof and so, each autumn, it becomes pyracantha haircut time.
The thick odd-job sweatshirt went on (over two more layers of padding), the leather-fronted gardening gloves were pulled up as far as they would go and, armed with secateurs and loppers, I climbed the stepladder to commence battle.
In the end, I always win. But victory is not without its price. Three days later, most of the scratches have developed fine threads of scabbing, but I am still digging at thorns stubbornly embedded in two of my fingers and my old school sweatshirt has yet another hole amongst the spatters of dried on paint.
But the job is done. The trellis will survive another autumn and the neighbours will stay happy.
The birds will be grateful too. To a hungry blackbird, those bright red berries must be a banquet in waiting.
It does look a lot neater, but I must confess that I quite liked the wild, unkempt look of the untamed mop.