Speaking of which, kudzu is a beautiful plant. We drove past stands of it again and again last week, including a row of what had to have previously been trees with half of one crepe myrtle still visible but disappearing fast, desperately reaching branches towards the highway in a plea of Save me! as the kudzu slowly took it down, took it all down–it was impressive. The stuff simply smothers anything in the South no matter how tall and no matter how wide. Kudzilla.
We saw one area along the road that looked very familiar in a Western way: lots of narrow dark grayed stumps going straight up throughout a swath of land and everything around it still perfectly green. You see that blackened cajun seasoning searing this patch, leaving that patch raw all over the dryer parts of the West in the summers as of late–but why…?
It took me awhile to figure out that someone had done a controlled burn to take out the kudzu in the only way to really get rid of it, I guess.
Speaking of invasive species…
I told the tree guy giving me an estimate two weeks ago that the berries of heavenly bamboo kill the native birds here. He was immediately stunned at the enormity of what that meant, turning to me, his eyes big: “But it’s everywhere!”
And that is why, as of today, our fifty or sixty year old stand of the stuff is gone; if I want a six foot tall decorative line of plants, there is no good reason not to have them be blueberries instead.
The weed trees that were starting to threaten the fence are gone, too. The sawing went on all day. It was either pay for that, or pay for that anyway and for replacing the fence next year, so, out it went. The bird center people had asked me to wait till August and we did but it could not wait another growing season.
The workers left me, at my request, the already-dead many-holed stump near the corner: it is Nuttall’s woodpecker habitat. (Besides, better they hammer there than the house.)
It is so very strange and a bit of a wrench to look out the window and see naked fence. It’s also pretty cool. Like having a brand new house: we get to choose what we want and start over!
I stuck a spade in one spot and asked Richard if he thought the potted cherry should go in there. The workers already dug a large hole for the pear on the other side of the house. We will add an English Morello near the first cherry, the tart but not too sour type that I think is what Costco has been selling that we like so much. Five hundred chill hours–we can definitely plant that.
So much to look forward to. Even if it’s hard to have those trees gone.
I watched a gray squirrel run down the fenceline next door towards our side, and about five feet short he slowed and stopped. Stared. Wait. There WERE trees here, I KNOW there were! It tried, but it could not conjure them back into existence and it slowly turned and walked–there is no other word for it–away.
A black squirrel later was so rattled by the changes that he took a flying leap for one of the remaining trees and actually missed. A wild scramble and he caught the other part of the doubled trunk behind it just before he would have hit the ground.
It kind of feels like that, doesn’t it, little guy?
Now to pick out varieties that won’t grow too tall, that won’t take too much work, that won’t shade the solar, whose fruit will, best of all, be sweet in the hand.
Any favorite varieties of anything you want to recommend, I’d love it if you let me know.
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