Spring projects

I love the woods behind my house but keeping it from taking over the few sunny areas that I have is a constant struggle and I often feel like I’m losing.  The vines creep out first, including poison ivy, to which I’m very allergic, and then the wild berry bushes try to fill in.  The next thing you know there are trees in what used to be lawn.  There used to be a pretty island around these trees covered with lilly of the valley, but even that robust ground cover couldn’t keep the encroachment at bay.  The encroachment was strongly assisted by the ice storm we had some years back that littered the whole yard with branches and twigs.  So these are “before” and “during” shots of the cleanup and replanting  There is still the back of the island and the forsythia gone wild to the right of it that I will have to clean.  The pile in the second photo is just the vining plants that I pulled; I’ll make sure that they’ve dried out too much to sprout and then take them deper into the woods.  There was wild grape and English Ivy, but also a lot of poison ivy that I pulled, I’m sure.  And then carefully washed everything with Technu.

Hard to see the grade in pictures but I still want to edge, build up the soil somewhat to delinate from lawn and to round up the slight slope to the trees.  I will not change the soil level at tree trunk level as that might not be healthy, just in front of the trees for effect.  And then mulch like crazy to keep the forest at bay while I figure out what else to plant there.  I want to use some edge plants like hydrangeas and rhodedendrons to help fill in and keep the trees out.  You may be able to make out two twiggy things.  They are hydrangeas, “Let’s Dance, Moonlight”.  With the morning sun and shade from the trees, they should do well there.[oqeygallery id=9]