Clearing the slate: 2006 part 1

In the history of how my yard became a garden, we're up to what is probably the most dramatic year in terms of changes: 2006. I was going to write that it was the "most important year", but I don't thing that's really true. It's certainly important, but every year that I built a box or put a substantial plant into the ground was important as everything that came after it was based on it.


Definitely 2006 had some major changes. It started minimally enough with the removal of the concrete slabs underneath the deck. Besides some time with a rented jackhammer and hauling chunks of concrete around the yard this was pretty painless and mindless.

***


That's one thing I like about gardening: most tasks are pretty straightforward and don't require too much thought. Remove that stump. Dig a hole. Prune those bamboo rhizomes. These tasks (like removing the concrete) may take some effort and time, but they don't require thought or debate.

What came next did require some thought and debate though. As you may have seen in the previous posts, my yard once had around 30 black locust trees of various sizes, most fairly large. Over the past ten years or so I'd lose a tree or two every year. Luckily the ones that have fallen have always been furthest from the house, and always came down in "good" spots, doing minimal (or no) damage.


In early 2006 we decided that since most of the locusts that remained were closest to and leaning toward the house, we would have them all removed before they too fell.


Think this one would hit the house?
We may have been able to wait another year or two before cutting them down, but once we decided that it was inevitable that they would need to be removed, I didn't want to wait. I loved having the shade these trees cast, and the structural element of the thick trunks would be hard to replace, but the sooner they came down the sooner I could replace them with new trees or whatever.


It's not like they were exceptionally healthy:

Plenty of dead branches up there

So one day some men showed up with chainsaws and fancy trucks and got to work:




A few hours later, the yard was... different. Drastically, shockingly different. I'll post the original photo, the "before" shot, then the "after". See if you can notice the difference...

1990
2006, before
2006, after (later that same day)
Yikes.

My first thought was "what have I done?" Actually, I thought that for several days.



After a while though, I got used to the treeless view, and started planning what would come next. I didn't really know exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew where I wanted to do it, so I laid out my longest hose to help me visualize (Sorry about the exposure problems in this photo):


Perfect! I think. Now I just need to figure out exactly what I'm going to do inside this roughly designated area. I have a feeling some digging will be involved.

But that will have to wait for tomorrow's post.

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Gerhard Bock  – (December 20, 2010 at 10:51 AM)  

With a bit more text and additional photos, this could be a book!

Can't wait for the next installment.

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