Lynn O’Rourke: ‘It’s all gone a bit Day of the Triffids’

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AS THE sun shone last weekend, our garden was plunged back into life with toys lugged from the garage and the trampoline forced with squeaky protest back into action.

When we first put it up it almost stood to attention, with every fastening straightened and buckle gleaming, these days it resembles a giant flapping, squeaking bird, which, naturally, seems to make the kids want to bounce on it even more.

On my way to hang up the washing, I have to body swerve the hugely overgrown shrubs that have claimed our narrow path. It’s a problem I haven’t noticed all winter, because there has been no outdoor hanging up of washing, and one I most likely ignored last summer. But now several sharp stems are embedded in my scalp, I can ignore it no longer. I set to work armed with no more than a pair of secateurs. (I really couldn’t trust myself with anything larger, but I suspect I’m making things much harder than they should be.) There’s a lot to cut back and it doesn’t come away easily, but as lanky, spiky stems build up around my feet, there’s no going back. The more frantically I cut, the more weeds I reveal. It’s all gone a bit Day of the Triffids and it’s the greenery or me.

I win through in the end, and smile as I brown bin the last load and pack my secateurs away. The smile is gone the next morning though when I can barely drag my aching limbs out of bed. It may well be another year before I go near the secateurs again.

This week, creating a dream home from a former steading may have caused a few nightmares along the way, but it was well worth the effort say Dave Hall and Alida Biagi. See the stunning results on page 4. Artist John Kingsley and his wife Moya Cove found the perfect backdrop for their art collection in their revamped Edwardian tenement flat in Glasgow.

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