Just the back yard!? Nah, I want the front and side yards landscaped in natives too.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Winter Dreaming


potential bench:  a before picture


Despite how quiet I've been, I have been making steady progress--even some large strides in some areas.  I've even had some "post-worthy" wildlife encounters.  My best bet for sharing those are to go through the past year or so's pictures and share them (and the stories that go with them) as I rediscover them.  It is hard to believe that I've basically lost a year of so of documenting my progress.

Yesterday, I was out walking the yard, waiting to see if we'd even get an inch of snow from the huge storm (Jonas, I think) that was walloping areas south of here.  We got nothin'

Surprisingly, I was a little disappointed, (considering how THRILLED I've been with the unseasonably warm weather we had in November and December--I worked outside every chance I had).  Part of me wanted about 2 or 3 inches, just enough to blanket the ground to simplify and beautify the yard.

While walking, my mind toyed with various ideas I've had lately about making a natural-looking bench that would blend in with the natural landscape I envision for our habitat garden.  As I walked past a 5-foot tall locust tree growing at the edge of a path alongside my future native meadow, instead of my usual thought of cutting it down (it is invading the meadow which I want to keep in an earlier stage of succession)...I looked to the lower branches and decided to cut the tree right above its three lowest branches--my thoughts, far-fetched perhaps, are to encourage it (and manipulate it) to grow some low, thick, horizontal branch (a horizontal trunk really), that I will eventually be able to turn into a natural seating area.  Eventually, I plan to kill the tree...but its wood resists decay, so I'm hoping I'll have it for many years to come--assuming the idea comes to fruition.

The placement, right by the path and in the middle of the meadow, seems ideal for a "bench.

Cut to the lowest branches...bench height.

This will be trained to grow horizontally...or even arch to the ground.

Here is another potential (and more realistic) natural seating area.  This  was my first idea--using a chainsaw to carve out a bench that would (hopefully) appear natural.  This wood, though, is already showing signs of decay, so its life span would be fairly short.

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