Thursday, 17 April 2008


There's something very satisfying and elemental about a huge bonfire. I know burning might not be the most green solution to garden waste but mega quantities of Leylandii brush is never going to make good mulch or compost. At least I can put the ash on areas that masquerade as flower/shrub beds and have the nutrients wash into the soil.

A) First make your pyre:

B) Then add firelighters held in place with paper spools.

C) Light paper, add a little dry kindling, then a little more, then some bigger stuff, and then you have a wonderful fire like this:

Which I then spend the next six hours feeding like a mad thing as it burns so hot that it's consuming large amounts of Leylandii in seconds. Then collapse completely exhausted and smelling like a bonfire and try not to notice that there is still so much waiting to be burnt that it will take another five or six days like this at the rate I can work. Phone John Lowe and leave a message admitting defeat and asking for help to get rid of the rest of it.

(And leave out the bit between "B" and "C" where the damn thing didn't light first time because everything is a bit damp).


  1. Magnificent, there's nothing like a good burn-up! The sap in conifers really makes them go with a whoosh, what fun!

  2. and I just love the smell of bonfires. Can I come and play too?

  3. Best fire we had was with eucalyptus. A great 'Whoosh' of flame, the oil catches and it goes up like a rocket and the whole place smells like cough mixture!

  4. Sue - you can come and play whenever you like, labourers always welcome (grin).

    Mrs Flummery - we had a bit of eucalyptus which went up in the first fire, you're right - huge Whoosh!

  5. Sewali, want to come and help? You could always send Himself to the cliffs at St Bees to watch the birds (only 45 minutes so from here) and you and I can create havoc and mayhem in Fangorn Forest.


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