Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sculpting The Landscape

One of the jobs that I have taken on this summer is keeping the usable space we have reclaimed, from the blackberry vines and Scotch Broom, clear.
We have lots of open areas that we would like to keep that way. One of my current projects is to keep the blackberries from tip rooting and gaining more space. I walk around the Homestead with a pair of professional grade hand clippers (I don't mess around with the 12 pairs of crummy ones I own any more) in my leather holster and every time I see a long tendril of tender Himalayan Blackberry reaching for more real estate I whack it off.

Buck has invested a lot of blood, sweat and tears into clearing some major mounds of blackberry and I have been keeping them in check, starving the roots by continually harassing the sprouts with my boot heel and the mower. It seems to be working. They send up fewer and skinnier sprouts each time.

Another ongoing strategy I have adopted is that when I am walking the property for any reason I pull as many small Scotch Broom as I can with my gloved hands. My currant record is 150 in an hour. I admit some of them were barely bigger than a pencil, but hey, they would have just become bigger and bigger, throwing their seed far and wide.

One thing Buck started and I have expanded on is the art of Landscape Architecture by mower.

It lifts the spirit to have visible results with some real impact on our and our guests quality of life. I have created all kinds of walking paths through grass that is now shoulder high. It's so fun to walk along these "garden paths" with company or the dogs in the evening.

I have also created little "rooms" under trees and in random clearings to rest in the shade or just look into. It is really only a fraction of the mowing I do and it gives me a lovely break from brush mowing.

I mowed around the upper burn pile for safety but in the process found myself imagining what it would look like from an airplane and found myself mowing what amounts to a giant spiral crop circle.
Unfortunately, foraying into unknown territory with the mower around here has its problem spots full of limbs, rocks, wire and bailing twine. It's something like being a steam boat captain on the Columbia.
Only, luckily, my mower doesn't sink when I hit all that junk.


  1. You seem to have a good mower. What kind is it? Ours tears up a lot and we're trying to find a cheap one that still does well. Also, if you keep mowing the pasture, keep it mowed like a lawn, the weeds will go away and the grass takes over. We cut hay once and then mow down when it gets big again to keep it healthy so we don't have to seed as much.

  2. Your fields and pathways are very pretty. We've fallen behind on clearing our fields here. So many things to do and so many ways to goof off. :)

  3. I really enjoy all of the pictures of your homestead. It looks peaceful. Have you thought about sheep? I think about that from time to time when I have a country home. I have no idea what kind of grass they eat but it could certainly reduce the mowing, and wouldn't it be cute to see those balls of fluff moving around!?

  4. Sheep are a LOT of work, especially the wooled variety. They prefer short grass and really need rocks and such. They do NOT like lush pasture. But if you're interested, we have a white Shetland ewe for sale.


Thank you for commenting, we love hearing from you! If you have trouble leaving a comment please check if your computer is set to reject pop-up windows or third party cookies. For some reason these will keep you from being able to post.