Sunday, December 13, 2009

Editing And Contemplation

You have to start some where at some point in time. When it finally stopped raining this afternoon I got started on editing the trees between the cabin and the scenic byway. I could not get the chainsaw started. I think it has been sitting too long and probably has a gunked up carburetor. That was fine. The intent was to start with the little stuff first to get it out of the way for felling the larger trees that need to go. A pruning saw, shovel and hand clippers worked just fine for the small stuff.

It may be hard to tell from a picture, but it already it looks cleaner. That very much appeals to my sense of order and tidiness.

When the larger trees come out, most of which are the ugly Black Locust, there will be so much more wonderful open space for planting. Smaller understory trees like Dogwood and Witch Hazel would make some nice additions. I am sure there will be other fine choices to consider.

I even have a specimen boulder in this area that will make a fine focal point in the garden to be.

Beyond the notion of the aesthetics involved in the creation of a garden in the wild forest another major motivation for this murderous spree is to make room for some evergreen screening between me and the road. For that I will need more sun.

I wandered up to the road to contemplate the planned general locations for my mixed, undulating and segmented evergreen privacy screening. Would this work with the constraints of the utility easement, the proximity to the road and the dangers of the DOT's long armed hydraulic mowers? Would there be enough space and enough sun? Will it make for a nice garden? I think it will all work out just fine. One thing I have plenty of is space.

In addition to new plantings in and along the edge of the forest, the wide sunny slope below the existing roadside flowerbed will need some more definition. I long ago began the process of editing out the unwanted blackberries and elderberry that owned this space. Elderberry are nice when they bloom, but that is about it. They are rather leggy and rangy the rest of the year. The blackberries and elderberry are in retreat and the next thug living in there that will be attacked in earnest come spring is the Clematis virginiana vine.

I have fondness for Sumac. I like the leaf shape, the persisting red seed heads and the brilliant fall color. The Rhus glabra might be good one to plant. There is an existing grouping of the native Hydrangea arborescens on this slope. Those will stay. Perhaps I could add the Oakleaf, Hydrangea quercifolia instead of Sumac. Another contender is the Plume Poppy, Macleaya cordata.

A large drift of one species will take up a chunk of this slope. I need mass to create any impact in the vast world of the forest.

It is all an odd balance. Here I am trying to create interest and drama so people will notice and it bugs me just a bit when they slow down to rubberneck. You can look, but only so far in. Just maybe a quick peak of the cozy cabin will be left open to view from the road for the winter. The roadside attractions here already include Uncle Ernie, the old chimney and a lush flower meadow surrounded vegetable garden in the summer. There are plans for more of course. A new fence and proper entry gate of uncommon design will add even more intrigue.

Ku'ulei 'Aina slowly gathers form.


Lola said...

Oh my, that does look better. I agree the neatness counts a lot & that boulder sure is going to be a nice point of interest.
Sorry the saw didn't want to cooperate. I do hope you will have some more sunny days.

Christopher C. NC said...

Lola at this point if nothing is falling from the sky and the wind ain't blowin then it is a good day.

Kitty said...

I like the rock.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

That is one handsome boulder. It already has moss on it too. Your plan is slowly but surely comeing together.

Anonymous said...

Love that boulder! I am jealous b/c there are none here on the coastal plain! I guess it's like the British coveting plants we consider weeds, and vice versa. (:


Gail said...

Christopher, Tree editing is a task i had considered when we moved here 23 yrs ago. It would have made a big difference. Love the boulder~~what a good place to stand and survey the garden! As a focal point it works, too;) If you want mass The Plume Poppy will give you that...It took over my sister's yard. gail

Anonymous said...

My beloved inheritance? It does already look so much better. The evergreen will keep the lookyloos from seeing too much and give you something to be proud of too. It is coming together. I envy your beginning.

Phrago said...

Chris, as pretty as they can be, Plume poppy is a horrible invassive weed that will quickly take over. Been there, you should look for another plant with less weedy tendencies... My Opinion

Lola said...

Christopher, do you have Christmas Ferns?
They are supposed to stay green even in the winter. Is that what I see in the post past!!!!

chuck b. said...

The rubberneckers are just jealous of your cozy cabin. Once they get use to it, they'll keep moving.

Christopher C. NC said...

Kitty I have a lot of rocks.

Lisa I may need to clean out just a bit around the boulder because it wants to sink into the earth and hide.

Bev, luckily it is in a good spot because it is too big to move.

Gail I think the tree editing is crucial just for the health of the trees. Nature isn't so fussy about proper spacing and you get a lot of bad shapes that lead to damage and falling limbs. Not good for a garden to be. Where does your sister live? I have a shovel.

Close Frances, My Beloved Land. The evergreens are crucial to a winter garden. Otherwise it is just all brown sticks.

Patrick sometimes you may need to fight invasive with invasive. I have read that spring shovel pruning is the way to keep it in bounds though the area it can have is about 10 x 20.

Lola there are two species of ferns here that stay green through most of the winter. I have not ID'd them yet.

Chuck it is the new kid on the block. I think the locals by now cruise by if they are not looking for invisible cows, deer or baar. The tourists and I-40 diverted may be the main rubber neckers. Yesterday a guy stopped to film the old chimney.