LAURA CARTLEDGE: Getting to the root of the problem isn’t easy

Money is said to be the root of all evil, but I’d argue ground elder might be worse.

With four weeks in our first home under our belt I’ve already learnt a lot – including that this perennial weed is going to be my nemesis.

We are still getting to know the house, so have put off decorating for now, and turned our attention outside instead.

For the most part I am loving it.

We’ve been enjoying the fruits of the last owner’s labour by popping out and picking raspberries for dessert.

And we’ve relished the taste of our own hard work, too, with my partner’s attentive mange tout gardening meaning we’ve had them in almost every meal.

The past fortnight has seen it get more serious.

Mostly as a result of my parents revealing how a lot of our plants aren’t ones we necessarily want.

This, and my lack of such knowledge, led us to create a game tentatively titled ‘peg a weed’.

It is very much what it sounds like.

We walked around together and every time they said ‘weed’, I put a peg on it.

Which says a lot, both about the scale of the problem and my memory.

So I’ve spent my weekends since taking out the offending plants and pegging the peg to my top in a bizarre point-scoring system.

Both the Saturday and Sunday just gone were spent going head to head with the ground elder.

Those who know it will understand the battle, and for those who don’t... I don’t have the words.

It is evil. With roots you have to dig and scrape out because, heaven forbid, you try to yank them.

Tug of war ends up with two outcomes.

One – you fly backwards and have to undertake an archeological mission to find the end which remains in the ground.

Or two – my particular favourite – is when you are really getting into it, giving it all your might, and the root snaps to find you showered in mud.

I now know my concentration face has an open mouth – that is all I am saying.

It is satisfying, however, in fact I am finding gardening as a whole is.

I just happen to prefer the food and the pretty flowers side to the dirty tasks – which I suppose is fair enough.

At least I have got the battle scars to prove I’ve put up a good fight.

The only thing is that I have managed to just injure the parts of my body I need for my day job.

Which is slightly ridiculous when you consider it is not a physically-demanding profession.

Sure, there might be assignments where I am asked to traipse through woodland or give burlesque dancing a blast.

But the rest, and the majority, is desk-based.

Alas my hands have taken the brunt of it all and my weapon of choice – the hand fork – is largely to blame.

The blister on my writing thumb is proving a pain – in plenty of ways – and led to me having to hold a pen like an over-zealous toddler with a crayon...

Oh to be an adult.