Anyway, the parcel I'm working with is approximately 294 ft long x 62 ft wide. It's the eastern portion of the woodlands that is closest to my house. That's right - it's 0.42 acres. Nearly a half acre that used to be someone's showcase garden, and is not trash.
|Woodland restoration satellite view - google maps.|
The photo is wintertime clearly - so it's hard to see just how dense the trees are. In the next photo below, the perspective is from the intersection in the lower right hand side looking back against this parcel. There is a little rock garden I carved out, a big overgrown rose bush, and a big burning bush (almost 12 feet tall!). Almost every thing else is buckthorn and poison ivy.
|Before restoration, east side of woodland - looking west.|
|Happy days - removing buckthorn by the truck-full|
Nobody else in this neighborhood had the vision that I did for the restoration. This includes the owner of the land whose house is way off to the left hand side of the first photo (which is why they don't care about it at all.) Every time I was out there hacking away at the "trees" - someone would stop and complain, or I'd just get dirty looks. I generally have the buckthorn piled up in the street for pick-up so I have also gotten actual notes in my mailbox about what a mess I'm making in the neighborhood. This sentiment was particularly acute when I had completely cleared the eastern side - the after clearing photo below. More open, light streaming through, room for growth....plus, the property owner was now so pleased she is begging me to keep going!
|After clearing Buckthorn - wide open spaces|
|Digging a big hole for tree|
In addition to these evergreen trees, I planted two serviceberry and one crab apple that I purchased at the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance plant sale a few years ago. In addition I had a few native plants from local sale - a button bush and two chokeberry. I also picked up a few items from close out a Lowes (distressed for $1 - $5 each ! Yeah) These were three golden privet, and two mountain fire pieris. Lastly, I picked up some daylilies and hosta for free of craigslist and scattered these in front of the trees. I had some leftover stone from a porch demo that I used to create a little pathway. In fall I'll distribute the existing flowers from the left had side along the front as well.
|June 2013 - Woodland Restoration with new trees|
Taking the long view - I really hope the next owner is passionate about this garden. In the past few days as I've been out there working neighbors driving by have actually yelled "great job" as they fly by! In a few years I'll start redistributing some of the saplings into the open spaces created by continued removal of buckthorn, dying elm and ash. I envision my kids coming here years from now and showing their own children the "little trees" then cared for as a child - which should be reaching for the stars.