Six boxes (and I mean hefty boxes) later and most of our 'garden' is in skips down the 'civic waste amenity site'. It was a real slash and burn effort - on both sides. The brambles gave as good as they got, and we had to contend with hot sun too.
But in the end we cleared some significant ground, reclaimed the patio, demossed the concrete and even had time to chat to our neighbours too. Our next objective is the demolition of the slowly collapsing old shed, and maybe a full frontal weedkiller assault on the buddleia. We hope to have secured our targets before Winter, and come the Spring we will be able to control the entire area.
I don't like gardening. Which is why I think of it as war.
One neighbour, who's house backs onto ours from the next street, and who I've never seen before, was harvesting blackberries from the bramble thicket between our houses. He was standing on his shed roof to do so and asked us in all seriousness if we were just moving in, such was the magnitude of our work. I hadn't the heart to tell him we've been here 13 years less a week...