Thursday, July 16, 2020

The Woodland Realm Week 6 & 7

Hi Friends,
I hope you are all doing fantastic.

If you have been following the last few weeks, I have been cleaning up the area behind our fence.  
This land is completely cut off from machinery access except through back yards. I'm not sure why that was done, but once this neighborhood was built and fences were put up, there was and is no way for the city mowers or excavators to get to this land.
It is part of the Cross Timbers region of Texas. You can read about that in this post.
There is a creek that separates the areas that are maintained by the city and this wild woodland area.
I noticed on a walk the other day that the city doesn't even mow some of the area that can be reached with mowers.

We have cleaned this up a few times. It's always a nightmare. The green briar is so sharp.
We had pathways to the creek but they were frequented enough by the neighborhood that they stayed semi- briar free. The kids all grew up so the paths were completely overgrown.
I tried to clip some greens last Christmas and was startled at how impenetrable the paths were.

We have dumped leaves and other debris back here for years. The stock tank pool is back here during the winter months and the extra chairs to the patio set are stored here during the summer months.

Initially, I intended to clean up the brush pile and scout out a location for a proper compost bin. 
It quickly evolved from those two goals.

Here is a recap of weeks 1 - 5 and then I'll fill you in on the most recent progress.

Week 1
 It was spent clearing and cutting down green briar and brush.
At the end of the first week, Bill made a run to the dump to drop off brush.

Week 2 & 3
I spent weeks two and three bundling up green briar and putting it in contractor bags. 
Bill made another dump run for me.

Week 4
I needed to add in some order and pretty. I formed a border out of small sections of branches.

That was so satisfying that the next day, I created another little oval rock bed around two trees. It wasn't love and ended up being dismantled.
I'm still messing around with all these rocks.

Week 5
 There was a lot of raking and clean up but it also saw the creation of a wattle fence out of the felled grapevine. The little rock border around the trees was removed and I made another wattle fence for that area. I put our gazing ball in the center of the first wattle bed. I planted some seeds. 

Week 6
 There was a lot of progress during week six. 
We restored the park bench and the chipper/shredder arrived! 
Bill and I chipped and shredded several big piles of leaves and twigs.
Bill has named the chipper/shreader - Lewis.
Let me know if you can figure out why.

One evening midweek Bill helped cut three dead large trunks into six foot sections.
He used large twigs to secure the logs into place.  I added soil and planted more seeds.
The perspective is a little off because this area is 6 by 12. It looks tiny in the pictures.

A fun bean support adds structure and adorableness.

 There was more clean up of "Linda's Slope and The Bermuda Triangle" during week 6.
Bill made another dump run of the dead green briar. 

Week 7

As the area was cleared, I began to see that there would be room to set up our porch swing.
Our old swing disintegrated some years ago. The frame was taken down and stored behind our fence.
I have missed it.

Bill set it up for me on Sunday. Bill built the frame as our kid's swing set.
It is still sturdy and strong and is at least 32 years old.
 We found the swing at Old Home Supply in Fort Worth a few weeks ago.
I felt sure we kept the hardware when we took the old porch swing down a few years ago but after searching for a couple of weeks, we gave up and got a new set of hardware.
We will probably find the old hardware any day now that it's replaced.

It's a cute focal point to the Woodland Realm.

There was a little more green briar clean up in the area that I call the "Bermuda Triangle".
Yesterday, I intended to sit on my swing, take pictures and plant a few things.

No - the last bit of it was calling to me - taunting me
  I pushed through and finished the clean up.
It meant that I could reach one of the paths down to the creek.
It was time to celebrate.

I don't know why this became such a thing with me.
The line of sight from our backyard never looked good to me.
Some of the neighbors have gorgeous views of the trees, Our view was always blocked by a hedge of some kind.  I didn't like that about our yard but I felt like it was "too bad, so sad". The recent pandemic caused me to think that life is too short to live with something I don't like.
If I can improve it why not? I clearly have the time and the energy.

Once everything was cut down, cleaning it up seemed insurmountable.
I repeated the saying, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. "
The elephant has been eaten and I'm thrilled.

We already have seeds sprouting.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you found this interesting.
Texas is open but the number of Covid patients has been rising.
Our habits haven't changed since the opening and they probably won't for a while.
Working in the Woodland Realm has kept my mind off of things that I cannot change.
I find a lot of peace in the yard.

I love the mix of informal and formal in this space. It has been fun creating borders from natural materials instead of something from the big box store.
I adore the wattle border and the log border!
I can't wait to see them with plants and flowers.
I can putz around in this area. We can hike to the creek and observe the damselflies and the butterflies. Occasionally, we see the shadow of huge birds overhead.
Our line of sight is better too.
It was a lot of work and I'm so glad it is finished.
I will keep you updated on the plantings.
Have a wonderful day.
Common Ground


  1. i am so impressed. I know that kind of work is far from easy in the Texas heat. I sure wish I could find the motivation to take one bite. My elephant seems to grow in size faster than I can eat it!

  2. This is a lot of work but boy is is looking so good. You have taken quite a few bites out of that big ole elephant. Congrats on getting this done. It really looks so much better.

  3. That's a huge job, Katie, and it's so hot. Well done. I think you deserve a break -- it looks terrific!

  4. Great job you two!! So my first thought was Lewis and Clark, then I thought about Inspector Lewis of BBC fame. My question is what are you drinking, (don't be shy) it looks delish!

  5. What a lot of work! But what a wonderful area for you. Enjoy the benefit of all that hard work.

  6. Wow Katie, I've been with you since you took this huge project on and every week it's better and better. You should celebrate, you created a beautiful area and look forward to seeing blooms and plants.

    Your swing looks great too and yes the old hardware will show up now that you bought new. Enjoy every minute!