Friday, December 2, 2011
Landscaping by Elimination
Yard work involves me indulging all my whims and prejudices regarding flora. I built my house right in the middle of the woods and started mowing between the places I wanted to go. Then for the last 6 years I've been sort of tidying up between those paths. I never buy plants. I strictly practice landscaping by elimination. I hate briars. All briars. If it grows up trees and bushes and it has thorns it is my mission to cut it off at the ground and pull it down and burn it up. Blackberry really pisses me off. I hate blackberry briars. The thorns have some kind of toxin on them that makes them hurt more than they ought to when they stick you. I cut them down. I burn them up. I do this yard work when it's cold enough to wear a thick long sleeved shirt and leather gloves.
My favorite tree is sparkleberry. I have a lot of these growing in my yard. I pull the briars out of them and prune them into pleasing shapes. When I find a chinquapin coming up I cut the briars away from it and encourage it. I also encourage blueberries. They come up all over my yard. Wax myrtle, black gum, French mulberry, sassafrass, oak, cherry, elm, ironwood, dogwood -- I've got it. I have a lot of longleaf trees in all stages of development. When they are in the wiregrass stage they are like puppies to me. Cute as can be. I mow around all the wiregrass stage longleaf. When they start to shoot up there's always one that gets an early lead and its shade leaves the other ones at a disadvantage. Steps must be taken.