Friday, June 3, 2016

Current state of the Food Forest Thing

And other Half-Acre projects - coming along slowly but making progress.

Let's start with the prettiest photo, which shows the first couple of what will be tree and underplanting groupings.

To the far right of the photo just above the chives is a young crabapple tree; there are also two pretty much invisible stick-like figs (one new, and one that I thought was dead until I bought the new one). Also lots of herbs, some bush cherries, some rhubarb, and raspberries (some in pots) that will be moved.

Pulling back:

you can see what's going to be a path and some more planting area - this is just upslope of what turned out to be a T-shaped planting of black raspberries developed from the old parallel lines plus jungle. Transitioning from squares and rectangles and straight lines into curves and ovals, both in imagination and reality, is one of the hardest things about this project, especially when some of the straight lines have to stay in place.

Up by the green shed there is Nick's retaining wall project:

which will include an herb spiral and will be glorious but is now extremely transitional. We have piles of carefully-sorted soil and gravel all over the Way Back.

Which is fine because most of it was weeds. Wall blocks and other materials coming soon. Done in a few weeks I hope!

I have new currants and jostaberries that I didn't photograph, and also some beach plums that are inside a fence for deer protection:

Everything is so tiny and hard to get photos of just now. The fencing is temporary and inconvenient, and I'm going to replace it with something attractive since it'll have to stay there a while. You can see some of the black raspberries to the right, which also need fencing. Wood, decent-looking, painted. By fall. The beach plums are hard to spot in the photo, but you can see the squash plants I stuck in there, and also the wee little seedless che tree:

Looking down the hill - we took out huge amounts of weeds along the neighbors' barn and put in sod:

It's another straight line but at least it's neat, and the top part wants to live.

On the other side of the Way Back, above the former playhouse (now pot shed, no not that kind of pot), I planted a dwarf weeping mulberry:

I have fond childhood memories of such a tree and want to recreate them for any child who might someday play in our yard. When it gets big I'll tame the surrounding mess of lemon balm, mountain mint, motherwort and other vigorous plants, and create a suitable fairy landscape.

My kiwis are still alive! I had terrible doubts after the desiccating wind incident, but they leafed out again.

No fruit this year, but I will take living plants. Beyond this, on the driveway side where we took out the privet hedge (which is what made the kiwis subject to wind damage), I've put in six more blueberries:

though they are pretty hard to see in that photo, and yes, we desperately need to tidy up the beds. Nick is helping me with that, too - see bed in back with nice edging:

Any plant-related chaos will be tidied later, but edging helps me pretend it's coherent.

There is much more to be done in other areas, but here's one I'm thinking about:

This tunnel of darkness is what happened when we got serious about pulling out invading vines and spreading forsythia and pruning the holly, and now it's a nice grotto that unfortunately opens onto the driveway and allows people passing on the other side to see right through to our hot tub and garbage area. I am thinking organic screen made of branches installed in the ground, or a hobbit hole door, or something like that. Good project for a hot summer week.

1 comment:

  1. Lots of work! But I'm sure a lot of fun as well, seeing the landscape develop before your eyes and under your feet. And so glad to see that the kiwis survived!