Saturday, 7 July 2012

Urban forestry

We didn't move to the mountains to cut grass. In my perfect world, I would have a front yard full of wildflowers over my septic field, and a forest in my back yard. And over time, this is what we will work on achieving.

The folks who came to look for my septic system demolished so much of my front yard that we decided to take advantage of it and start the transferal. Over the part of the lawn where the septic field is, we have to keep grass-ish kind of things, but were cleared to plant whatever we wanted in another section. To us, that means trees.

Step 1: Continue the wreckage

The first step was to advance the destruction caused by the backhoe. I rented a rototiller and over the space of 2 hrs, destroyed my shoulders, my wrists, my hands, and a good portion of the front lawn.
The tiller. The work.
This tiller was not really up to the job, pushed back into me when it hit a root or a rock, and made fumes that stank. But in the end, we got it done.

Step 2: Plant the stuff

We transplanted some baby trees from around our lot (including 3 small spruce and a scotch pine), plus picked up some bigger dudes (2 larch and a amur maple) and a couple of shrub/bushes (junipers and columbine) from the local garden centre, then covered it with mulch.
All planted. But we ran out of mulch
Step 3: Scatter the seeds

Turn up the soil and pretty much every seed in there -- from dandelions to thistles -- will germinate. So to beat them out, Karen scattered seeds. Lots of seeds. Eight packs of daisies and violets. And she only covered about half the space.

Step 4: Mount the sculpture

Finally, we took our giant, welded, junk metal sculptured hand (a very cool piece of art) and mounted it to the tree stump in the yard.
The hand stands
We have a lot that's one third of an acre in size. We have now got ~500 sq. ft landscaped. It's the small victories we have have to celebrate.

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