The Burning Bush - Combustible Weeding

I have spoken of the tedium, nay obsession of searching out ground elder and racing to get to bittercress and dandelions before they seed, and I have confessed my loathing of bracken. Well now we are beyond the point of no return. Suddenly there are weeds running away everywhere…well not everywhere but with 4 acres of garden they can regularly surprise you.
Well we have one answer, a flamethrower. We have had this “flame gun” for some years now. I must admit to being enthusiastic about its non chemical based powers of weed destruction, ( I choose to ignore the LPG gas) years…but I do admit to being rather nervous of it.

My husband Donald is made of sterner stuff; after all he is the real gardener around here. He can be seen regularly lugging the gun and its accompanying LPG gas cylinder around the garden blasting away at offending noxious weeds.

I recently drew his attention to a footpath where Alchemilla mollis had seeded and there were thousands of seedlings. He suggested this was a job for the flame gun.

One bright afternoon he approached the path. Now April was a very dry month. What happened next is unsure. He was flaming the path next to a squat golden Cupressus and Wooosh!
Now Donald is a Queen’s scout, but he admits to a frisson of fear. The thing roared and burst and fire ran through the shrub like lightening. It was over almost as fast as it began and mercifully after consuming the Cupressus the fire put itself out.

We can only think that the heat and sunshine had encouraged volatile oils to rise and they just needed a flame to go off. Still, a useful lesson; if a lesson it is; about dry and flamible aromatic shrubs in dry, dry weather, we have learnt it.

All a bit scary. I know gorse can be like that but maybe there are more shrubs and trees that can become a potential torch.

Ah well here comes the rain this week and a whole new germination of weeds
That is unnecessarily cynical…the garden needs it and will benefit greatly.
Where is my brown jumper.


  1. Gosh who would ever have thought the Cupressus would have gone up in flames in such a way. Never mind, it could have been Donald fars yer troosers. I was just thinking, I don't mind weeding, but four acres, that's another matter.

  2. I nearly brought this post to hubbie's attention as that is the way he tackles the weeds growing along the pavement and the toadflax and vinca growing in the walls. But then I thought he might get ideas about LPG cylinders and bigger being better.Having visited your garden lots and lots I realize how difficult ti must be to keep on top of the weeds with everything else you have to do and on a hillside too! You need a "Friends of Abriachan" group of volunteers to weed> And no sorry I'm not volunteering!


Thank you for leaving a comment - it is always great to hear about other peoples gardens and lives. If you ever drop by the nursery, make sure you say hello. (Margaret & Donald)

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