I am not a basketball fan, and I don't follow March Madness, but the title seems somehow appropriate to describe the past week or two. After being cooped up all winter with little motivation to work on my project during the winter like I normally do, I got outside and got inspired. Despite the temperatures being below normal over the past two weeks, I've been doing a lot in the yard...every day for more than a week...even after work, I have gone out and dragged myself in when the light was failing.
Mostly I've been focused on the pocket woodland (my "would-be woods" as I've often referred to it). Come summer, this sparsely treed area grows in too thickly for me to get through the paths--and my focus by then has turned to the meadow, pond/stream bed, and various other projects. Winter allows me access to the "woods" and allows me a chance to assess my progress. It also exposes the many rocks and boulders along the slope. Some I want to showcase, while others I want to move to use in the stream bed.
The beauty of the boulders have really motivated me to get this section shaded enough to keep down the weeds so I can enjoy this nearly half-acre part of our yard year round. I plan to add a lot of trees this year--mostly things I've already got growing, such as the silver maples that have appeared in the meadow, some black cherry trees that I have in pots and in a starter bed, sumac, quaking aspen, black locust, black poplar, (all fast growers) and various other tree seedlings. I also plan to buy a couple of tulip trees whose flowers I hope to be able to view from above while at the top of the slope. The slower growing oaks, shagbark hickory, and any others I want to add, will fill in under the shade of the pioneer species.
|Crevices for wildlife such as salamanders--I found a few the other day.|
Aside from all of my plans for adding trees, understory trees/shrubs, and wildflowers, I have been moving rocks--some quite large. I am trying my best to maintain the holes, crevices, and possible tunnels for any critters that make them their homes. At the same time, I am trying to stabilize the slope; many of the rocks are loose and doing nothing to hold back erosion.
I have grand plans for this section and plan to use my favorite park from where I used to live in Western PA as inspiration. The slope, rocks, and various levels really lend themselves to viewing wildflowers at eye level (as well as at the foot of the path). I hope it is not too long before I have pictures to post of a more established woodland, replete with wildflowers.
|First I had to rake away last years growth to expose the rocks.|
Imagine this as a full woodland with trees of various girths,
understory trees, ferns, and wildflowers.
|"Before" photo..give me a few years for some beautiful "After" shots.|
|Another beauty for the stream bed.|
Originally I pulled this out for the pond/stream bed...but, as I did
with a couple of others, I incorporated it into the hillside slope
|The thin, flat rock just right of center didn't have the right presence...|