It all started with the dead hemlocks. Once a mighty grove of forest giants spread from where my little cabin sits, down the slope, across the stream and half way up the next ridge. A tiny little bug sucked the life out of them. They were no more.
Sunlight that had been held high in the treetops crashed to the ground. An explosion occurred.
Let's just say growing a whole new forest from scratch is not a tidy process. Then add in dead giants that one by one are falling down.
The fast and aggressive are the first to take hold. I am lucky that on this mountain top that does not include a host of non-native invasives like bittersweet vine, kudzu or wild rose. Plenty of native plants are quite capable of filling that role though.
The gardener did not want more of those. There are plenty of tulip poplars, birch and black locust already. Blackberry is just plain mean.
Hiding in the tangle was a plan B forest. The gardener decided to edit for that. I have not seen Aralia spinosa anywhere in my travels. It is viciously thorny, but since no one else has it, I should have it in my garden. It stays.
Underneath the thuggish was a proliferation of magnolias. I will be having a big leaf Magnolia fraseri forest. I have also found Magnolia acuminata, Chestnut Oak and Sourwood. The new forest will have trees that are less represented in the current forest.
The gardener will make it so.
At least the gardener likes to think he can make it so.
The dung piles of squash have taken off. The butternut squash are doing great. The mystery melons all appear to be ornamental pumpkins, gourds and probably luffa sponge. The only way those could have gotten here is through the back end of goats. I had nothing to do with it.
Now the plan was for dung piles covered in the most delicious cantaloupe ever. They are still thinking about it. It's August 1st today. Time is running out. The plan for cantaloupe may not pan out.
Vegetables are weird. This year I am being over run with cucumbers while the yellow squash sulk. Most years it is the other way around. Maybe this is an off year for cantaloupe.
I call it the Garden. I am not sure it is convinced of that.
My control over the Tall Flower Meadow is limited at best. Veto power is all I can legitimately claim and that only as time and energy permit. What I plant can only be considered a suggestion.
Some suggestions do settle in and many quickly go feral. That may be what it takes to live in the wild cultivated gardens.
Joe Pye went feral fast. I'm good with that. It is a major player in the Tall Flower Meadow.
I did sit for a very brief moment after editing for hours in the new forest.
The gardener sets things in motion, but who really is in charge?