Thursday, April 19, 2012

Reclaiming the Climbing Tree Garden

Climbing Tree Garden ~ After

Climbing Tree Garden ~ Before

We're not finished yet. In fact, we're a long way from it. But, there are those who wanted to see what's happened in the Whimsy Garden (previously called the Climbing Tree Garden) over the last 5 days. This was a lot of raking, mowing, pulling, more raking, more mowing, and we were pulling weeds until the sun went down tonight. Tomorrow morning we'll be up an pulling more weeds, and getting plenty dirty.

In the after picture you can see pathways starting form, and where planting beds will be. A lot of that green stuff in the lawn area is horehound weed, not grass, so it has to go. Horehound is currently the bane of my existence. For those who don't know what it is, horehound is plant with medicinal properties for treating colds and coughs, but it's also one of the most pervasive and pernicious weeds I've ever encountered. Tumbleweeds have nothing on horehound. They are mere amateurs in the sticker-plant world. Horehound, on the other hand, is one of the queens. It's big round stickers cling to everything it touches, especially clothing and hair. Tumbleweeds you can pick up with gloved hands with no problem. Horehound is something you don't touch with anything but tools. 

To deal with horehound the best advice I can give is to mow it down first, then rake it up. Then, if you can, burn it, or mulch it with a lot of straight manure. Enough manure will kill both horehound and tumbleweeds. We're going to grind up the massive piles we've collected over the past five days and use it as organic material to fill a hole that's about to appear in the orchard. The hole will be formed when we take out the stump of an old dead apple tree we cut down today.

The Climbing Tree Garden isn't the only thing getting a make over this month. The entire orchard is.  By the time we're finished the Climbing Tree Garden will no longer be the Climbing Tree Garden. It will be the Whimsy Garden. As you can see in the after picture, the 'climbing tree' is in no shape to be climbed in right now. We had to cut off a lot of dead limbs, and we chose new sprouting limbs to cultivate to replace them. It will take a few years before those limbs are strong enough to stand up to kids. 

In the mean time we're going to hang potted flowers from the extension limbs which are normally used to hold up seats, swings, and tree houses. Whatever the kids' little hearts desire. This particular tree has hosted fun and fantasy for two generations of children so far.  It's time to give it a break and let it rest for a while. 

But, no fear! There are other trees in the orchard that are just right for climbing. In previous years these trees, an olive tree and an apricot tree, were too small for such antics. But now they're both quite large and sturdy. Grossmond has already tested their worthiness several times and given them both her seal of approval. 

No comments:

Post a Comment