Looking around, planning ahead

The heat is on for the next few days, with some thunderstorms predicted by the end of the week.  This will limit what we can do in the yard, and when, for a while.

After dropping my younger daughter off for her first shift at her new job, I decided to finish up the sun room.  I’ve emptied it out completely, and mopped the concrete floor.  I’d originally intended to take a hose to it, but there is nowhere for the water to drain.

I mopped that floor three times, with many changes of water.  I swept it as much as I could, but there was just so much dust left behind!!

It is now drying, so I figured this was a good time to make a post. 🙂

Yesterday was our day of rest, and I took advantage of it to just walk around, checking things out now that it’s all as green as it’s going to get, and thinking ahead.

After I finish with the area I’ve been working on for the past while, I intend to slowly work my way through the maple grove to the garden area.

20180617.blocked.path

There was a time when this space was a path to the garden.  I think that stick next to the dead spruce tree is marking one side of where it used to be.

As you can see by the dead branches in the foreground, there’s more than dead spruces blocking the old path.  There is where there are a bunch of maples that had been cut down, cut into pieces, then left there.  I don’t know who started the work and then stopped part way through; for all I know, it was my late brother, which might also explain why it was left unfinished.

Before we can even start on taking down the small dead trees (the big ones will wait until we have a chain saw), I will have to clean up all the deadwood on the ground.

We’re going to have several years worth of fire wood for cookouts, by the time it’s done!

20180617.power.pole.trees

I squeezed my way through to check out the West end of the garden space.  There, I discovered a huge mass of horseradish!  My mother had told me she’d transplanted some there, but that the younger of my brothers had plowed too close to the pole and dug it up, so she transplanted it again, under a spruce three nearer the house.  Clearly, she missed some, and it is thriving!

When I was younger, this area was pretty much all open.  Now, there is a dense, virtually impenetrable wall of trees where I remember we once had a cabbage patch.  From what I could see, along with the usual maple, elm and black spruce, I believe there is also some Colorado blue spruce and birch.

Unfortunately, the trees near the pole are tall enough that they are reaching the power lines!  I think they are still clear enough, though, that we can safely cut them down without hitting the the lines.  At the very least, we will need to thin the area down.  It is so dense, everything is fighting for survival.  I can tell quite a bit of it is deliberately planted, such as the Colorado blue spruce (not a native species) and the row of birches, plus the rows of black spruce, but I’m pretty sure there is quite a bit that is self sown.  Some of the black spruces, perhaps, and most likely the maples and elms.  I am hoping to save as much as I can; the birches look pretty good, but I will likely be removing 2 out of every 3 trees in the rows of spruces.  Though just removing the dead ones might achieve the same goal.  I would really like to save the Colorado blues.

A number of years ago, the Canadian government was encouraging people living on farms to plant more trees and shelter belts.  They had a program where people could sign up and order all kinds of trees, shipped to them for free.  I have no idea if this program is still available, but I know lots of people took advantage of it.  I am thinking that this is how my parents ended up planting so many of the trees I’m finding, including the shelter belt outside of the yard, along where the cow fence is now.

After checking this area out, I took a look at the North fence line.  At this end, there are a number of trees that look like they were deliberately planted, along with some obvious self-sown ones.  There is a gap between the big trees and the fence line, which is good.  I’d like to clear that gap, so that the fence is accessible.  Once the lilac hedge starts, though, I couldn’t see the the fence line at all, and couldn’t tell if there was a space between the bushes and the fence.  While walking along the lilacs to try and see, I did find a couple of chokecherry trees.

20180617.baby.chokecherries

There are quite a few berries forming, though a lot of them seem to have insect damage to them.  We shall see how they do throughout the season.

Eventually, I found a gap in the lilacs and went to see how close to the fence line they are and found…

20180617.mystery.wire

… some mystery wire.

I have no idea what kind of wire this is, other than it is NOT fence wire.  I can’t even see anything nearby that it might be from, or that might explain why it is here.

Something else I’m going to have to clear out and add to the haul-away pile.

The lilacs, meanwhile, are well into the fence line.  Not going to be able to clear a path out.  Ah, well.

As I was finishing up, I went past a bush my mother planted by the clothes line platform.  I had ruthlessly pruned it down, because it was in the way of trying to hang things on the line.

It seems to have like the pruning, because it is now completely dense with foliage, and covered with flower buds, including one early bloomer!

20180617.blooming.potential

Based on how many buds I’m seeing, by the time this bush is in full bloom, we’ll hardly be able to see any leaves at all; it’ll be a mass of white!

I’m rather looking forward to seeing that.

Well, I think the sun room floor has had enough time to dry.  Now I have to decide what to put back, and what will have to go into storage!

By the end of the day, we should finally have a usable sun room. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

One thought on “Looking around, planning ahead

  1. Pingback: Clean Up: Maple Grove, garden path | The Re-Farmer

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