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Naturalization of my Property

Spring 2005

(Page 2)

Back Yard

Julie has been doing some very nice and much-needed work in both the back and front yards this spring. Here's some views of what she has done so far (I have helped of course).
  

We placed a bench by the pond, so we (and visitors) could sit and look out over the pond.

The side elevated area on the east side of the property had been getting rather unruly, and needed some balancing. So Julie cleaned out most of the foreign plants and we transplanted three Eastern Red Cedar shrubs from the front yard (where I had "parked" them until I could decide where they should really go). These are just barely visible in this photo, near the end.

Similarly, the fern garden that lies along the rear of the house had been getting very unruly as well. Julie cleaned it up, removed most of the non-fern species, and expanded the stone boundaries a bit.

If you're new to naturalization, this will still look unruly and unkempt to you! Imagine what it looked like before getting cleaned up! What you see here are various fern species, plus a number of Jewelweed sprouts, which we leave until later in the season when we thin them out.

Gradually over the years the prairie has crept out into the grass. Now, that's fine, except eventually the end result is all prairie and no grass. So we decided to delineate the prairie edges this year.

Note the two stumps. The prairie used to end at an imaginary straight line drawn between these two stumps. The grass that you see here (not the lawn) is sweetgrass. It will eventually spread like crazy if you let it.

So Julie dug a small ditch along the edge to mark the boundary of the prairie.

An integral part of any naturalization project is usually to reduce the amount of lawn on a property. I chose to leave some lawn, but I'm not very good at taking care of it!

So Julie has been seeding certain areas of the remaining lawn, in order to enhance it and bring it back to a healthy state.

This photos shows where she has cordoned off a section of recently seeded grass, along the edge of the prairie area, where we have delineated it with a small ditch (as described above).

We are now at the end of May.

There has been this small "island" down near the pond ever since I first naturalized the property. Julie has delineated it better, mulched it, and cleaned out the weeds. Looks much nicer now! The pond is in the background.
One thing we do to make the yard inviting to animals and birds is to place shallow bowls out with fresh water. The chipmunks and squirrels frequently drink from them. The birds love these too, and we often see them drinking from them. Once in a while a bird has a bath in one. We refresh the water every day.
This is not meant to illustrate anything, just to show a lovely view of the pond at the back through the trees.
This is a closeup view of a nice patch of Canada Anemone in the backyard (a native plant).
 

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