Last fall we sat in our condo homeowners’ association meeting and learned that the woods surrounding our complex is actually preservation land. We nodded obediently when told that we therefore were not to alter it in any way. And then yesterday I dug out my clippers and attacked the scrubby pines that border our back yard.
If the perennials the previous owner left behind are any indication, he was an enthusiastic gardener. The bleeding heart is full of pink blooms and I just made a pie from the rhubarb that grows out back. Another clue is all the iron shepherd’s crooks positioned at the edge of the forest where I suspect he hung pots of flowers to enjoy from our porch. Beneath these are azaleas and rhododendrons, now choked out by the encroaching pines.
When we bought the place, the couple who lived here before was well into their 80s, so I’m guessing for their last few years here the plantings were neglected and the pines and weeds took over, being the opportunists they are.
Since the grounds keepers here don’t concern themselves with the woods, those unchecked pines and weeds could keep on tiptoeing out into our backyard on their little green feet.
So I spent the day dragging 15 foot vines out of the perimeter and lopping off lower pine branches so everything could catch a breath.
|Yes, believe it or not, there's an azalea here.
Now maybe the two azaleas we illegally planted on the edge to commemorate our new twin granddaughters will have a chance (although the deer who nipped off every single damn spring bud are the next opponents).
The key here is to not get caught by some over-zealous rule follower who happens to be walking by a window while I’m hacking away at conservation property. Oh, and to not re-create the amount of yard maintenance that was one of the factors spurring us to sell our house in the first place.