Ah, the entrance to my unused, overgrown back two acres…
Once upon a time, I’m told, Hubby used to mow back there, too. Then one day, the culvert collapsed while he was driving the tractor across it (no injuries!) and that was the end of that… It’s been left to its own devices for at least fifteen years.
Two years ago, we replaced the culvert, and began talking about using it again. I had carved a small path through the jungle, just big enough to walk a dog through, and thought there were some areas with possibilities…But it never got beyond the Talking Stage.
Until last week, that is!
As this is a job that’s waaaay outside my skill-set (and alloted Outdoor Time), we called in our trusty crew of Yard Guys…They arrived at 7:30 am last Saturday, and went straight to work.
Sweet Cleo and I walked up yesterday morning to take a look… What a difference!
The guys have taken down several large willows, and hundreds of vines, weeds and saplings. In the process, they uncovered a dozen or so blueberry bushes, and exposed them to the sunlight for the first time in years.
Everything that could be was run through the wood chipper. These are some of the too-big logs that were left behind. They my find a new life as fence poles, or trellises, or bonfires. Some will be cut smaller and stacked to make small-critter habitat.
So, what’s the plan for this New Space? There are several, and they evolve over time.
For the rest of the season this year, it will be about observation. What’s the water-flow pattern? How much will it dry out, now that the canopy is open? Where are the best spots for a few temporary raised beds? We’ll rake and pile the woodchips, and keep the regrowth to a bare minimum.
Next year, depending on the results of this year’s survey, we’ll have a few beds of winter squashes…Pumpkin Patch, anyone? After a few more years of remediation, I hope to bring in some fruit trees and have a small mixed orchard, with plums, pears, and a few more apples. By then, we’ll have another part of the field cleared, I hope.
The Guys have at least two more Saturdays of work before they finish this section, which is about a quarter of the back lot. I’ll admit, I have a twinge of guilt about the clearing. I’m quite sure we’ve managed to ruin plans for more than one family of critters back there. We’ll wait a year or more before moving on to other parts of the field to give everyone time to adjust. I’ve no intention of clear-cutting the whole thing…there will always be a home for wild things here.
Even the ones who want to share my gardens’ bounty.