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Naturalization of my Property

Backyard - 2000 - Summer

(Page 1 of 2)

Jul/00: As mentioned on the previous page, I had started and then abandoned a pond project near the house.  I filled it in in 2000, but somehow when you fill a hole back in you always have a lot of soil left over!  So I piled it up beyond the pond, creating a raised area, seen here in the center of the picture.  

I built a rock retaining wall and a trail rising up that leads into the woods.  Some sumacs grace the path, along with junipers (non-native) and cedars.

When I abandoned the pond project I left part of it unfilled, and it became the circular rock-lined depression in the foreground .  This has turned out to be a very pleasant place to sit and talk with friends.

Jul/00: Here is an aerial view of the same area.  The retaining wall and path are visible on the right side of the picture.  The circular sit area is at the bottom left.  To the rear (upper right portion of the picture) is the woods area.  The pond is visible in the upper left.

Just visible running along near the base of the wall is a tiny stream bed.  This small groove carries runoff from the eavestrough of my house, and in heavy rains it's a little stream.  I plan to plant daylilies or something similar along the base of the rock wall.

Goldenrod is flourishing (I scattered a lot of seeds in the fall of 1999).  No, it does not cause hay fever - goldenrod pollen is heavy and does not drift on the wind.

Note the rocks piled at the bottom of the bird feeder.  See the next picture for more about them.  We'll go back in time to 1999 look at them in detail.

Summer 1999:  In the summer of 1999 I built a small rock garden around the base of the bird feeder, seen here in close-up view.  It serves well to hold the birdfeeder pole upright.

When I built this, I deliberately created lots of access holes and spaces underneath for the numerous chipmunks of the area to have a place of safety and play.  They absolutely loved it!

Most of the rocks are limestone, some with very interesting holes and shapes.

In 2000 I had to tear this apart and rebuild it from scratch because I didn't make the planting areas deep enough - the soil was too thin and the plants died.  As well, the chipmunks, mice and voles dug numerous tunnels through it to get at the spilled bird feed during the winter, undermining every plant.

While I was engaged in the rebuilding effort, the chipmunks came over frequently to see what new chambers and holes I was creating.  It was very funny watching them zip in and out of each hole to see what was new while I was working on the structure.

I ended up planting completely different things here after I rebuilt it.  You may be able to tell this by carefully comparing pictures on these pages.

Jul/00: Here is a closer picture of the stone wall with the staghorn sumac and juniper bushes along the top of it.  

Prior to alteration this whole area was plain grass, and was the driest part of the backyard, so it was where the grass died first each year.

The little groove that is the tiny stream is visible running towards the bottom middle of this picture.  The rocks holding up the bird feeder are to the lower right.


Jul/00: Here is another view of the sit area circle, looking toward the "field area", on the left side of the yard.

I have placed stumps to sit on here and there throughout the yard.  One is visible by the sit area.

An enormous variety of plants are now growing in the field.  I acquired a lot of them from Tim Martens, who had a native plant nursery business.  Thanks, Tim!

You can also see the grove of eastern cottonwoods here.  They are growing fast - about 3 feet in this summer.

Note the tremendous variety of plants growing in the field, and the riot of colour.


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Naturalization:  Before    1999    2000  •  2001  •  2002  •  2004  •  2005
Before & After Comparisons    Plant List    Animal List

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