Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pick Up Sticks

I picked up branches and sticks from the big blow for a bit over an hour in the ridge top garden until I was tired of picking up sticks. You can't really tell the difference in the stick world I currently inhabit, but it feels better.

I can easily spend another couple of hours picking up sticks from the big blow in the ridge top garden. Another day perhaps.

If you don't pick up sticks and logs, the gardens could easily begin to look like this. It is on my list to pick up these sticks one day when a path that runs along the small creek is created. This slope opposite the cabin and driveway will be dedicated to a predominantly native garden. I sowed seeds of the plant that dare not speak its name through here this fall.

It will be nice to enjoy what nature has to offer without all the clutter distracting from the experience. One day.

I wandered over to my place contemplating the notion of picking up my own sticks. There was even a possibility that the chainsaw could be revved up and I could begin the process of creating another whole supply of sticks to pick up. I just contemplated instead. Cold slows things down.

A tour of the gardens to be that shows the lay of the land sounds easier.

This is near the top of the garden to be partly down the slope below the driveway. The open space in the foreground will contain a path that runs just below the scenic byway. On the right side is where some evergreen screening will be placed when some of the sticks have been thinned out and picked up.

Looking more to the right and back uphill a bit, the path will come through the trees to the right of the one with the orange tag marked for removal. A grouping of rhododendrons will be planted in the center of this space. Already hosta, helleborus, astilbe, ginger and hakonecloa have been planted along the margins of the future clump of rhododendrons. There is even one rhododendron in there now. Exbury type deciduous azaleas have been planted up slope a bit as you exit this group of trees.

Looking straight ahead along the slope just below the scenic byway some thinning is needed to create a bit more sun for some more evergreen screening. The open space I am standing in is for the utility lines overhead.

Looking back to where we just came from it is easy to see how a nice path will run right along the bottom of this slope. I can't plant too close to the road or the long armed hydraulic mowers will hack my plantings. There is also the other utility line that comes from the roadside vegetable garden and runs through here at an angle to cross the road. If you plant anything tall under there it will be hacked and dropped and there will be more sticks to pick up.

This is standing just off the property line looking back in, the same place as the picture above was taken. All that open space in the center is where the septic drain field is. No big trees and no bamboo can go in there. Perennials and smaller shrubs will be fine. Considering how this drain field system works I don't see what if anything would prevent the existing trees from sending major roots into it in search of water and nutrients. If that's how they do things here I am not going to worry about it to much.

From the same spot we are now looking through the trees out over the sunny utility valley towards the cozy cabin. There is a lot of undulating ground to plant. First I must chop down and pick up a lot of sticks to make room for the garden to be.

Now we are just below the cozy cabin at the edge of the sunny utility valley. Looking back up is where the tour began on the other side of the grouping of trees at the top of the slope in the center of the picture.

Between the cabin and road is about three quarters of an acre. It will keep me busy for many years to come. That will always include the chore of picking up sticks after a big blow.


lisa said...

A woodland dweller's work is never done...good thing you enjoy it! :)

Anonymous said...

What seeds did you sow?

Christopher C. NC said...

Lisa a gardener's work is never done and I am beginning to think a woodland gardener's work is doubley never done. If things go as one can hope I could have 20 years to do nothing but tend these gardens. One dollar per. Show you garden. SS no good money. One dollar please.

Sallysmom the plant that dare not speak its name is 'sang', Ginseng, Panax quinquefolius. Something else to supplement my meager SS income in my dotterage.

Les said...

Though I am not envious of your sticky situation, I am envious of your space. At this point, I have to think about what to take out before anything new can go in. I hope your crop is a success to help you in old age, maybe then you won't have to resort to killing bears for their gall bladders.

Anonymous said...

I am trying to emulate a path I saw recently where long sticks and larger limbs were artistically entwined on both sides to create the outlines of a path through the woods. Unfortunately mine is not nearly as artistic, but it does make a good place to put the sticks/limbs. I have tried to make it more organized by placing matching paired stumps opposite each other at intervals along the path, with the sticks in between. When one lives in the woods, one must devise ways to use the endless supply of pick-up sticks (and stumps), or endless trips to the dump ensue. (:
Christopher, I foresee the day when not only your planned garden but the existing mountaintop garden will be yours to tend. Then you TRULY will be busy! (:


Christopher C. NC said...

Les the only way I am not intimidated by all this space is the notion of time. There is plenty of that too and no rush. Wouldn't it be nice if chicken gall bladders were valuable. The baar round here is mighty scarce.

Bev, either you have mentioned this stick path edging before or I saw the same thing somewhere or both. I remember being impressed by it. I just don't remember from where. I'd have enough sticks to do that and have a big fire.

In some ways I have already started tending the mountain top garden. Picking up sticks is just one example. I hope it will not be my sole responsibility until they are gone from this earth, that they can at least putter until the end.

Lola said...

WOW, that is a lot of sticks to pick up. I know from first hand that a woodland dweller is never done. I never did get caught up while we had the property.
I can envision your paths & gardens as it all progresses.
I hope that the puttering will continue for many ages.

Pam said...

This post reminded me of a time when my parents first moved into their home in the Virginia woods - and after their bit of yard was cleared out/planted, my mother wanted to start 'cleaning up the woods'. My father thought this was THE MOST INSANE thing he had ever heard her say. Even now, when I wander through those woods, noticing the sticks everywhere, I think of my mom and it makes me smile.

lisa said...

LOL! I think you're on to something! Check out my veggie containers. One dollar please. :)