In preparation for the rather ambitious order we will soon pick up from Fedco, Cherisse has been preparing sites for trees and bushes. Not an easy task. The biggest challenge is posed by the rocky landscape…it is almost impossible to dig without encountering a boulder. She must also consider the light requirement (full sun or partial shade), and what other plants are nearby. Our new black walnut must be kept away from other plants since it can poison the roots of its “competition.”
We’ve planted trees and shrubs each spring since we moved in, but over time our vision for the landscape has altered. Originally we wanted to block the house entirely from the road, so we thought we’d plant evergreens along the expanse of stone walls. Now we appreciate the seasonally shifting privacy. As the leaves fall, our neighbors’ houses emerge. Throughout the darker, colder weather we like seeing lights in their windows, and knowing they are close by. Then by summer, when all is green and leafy, the houses disappear again and we enjoy our greater seclusion.
As Cherisse digs holes and weeds trees from previous Fedco trips, she has had eager helpers. The chickens follow her, gathering around while she’s working, and poking in the freshly turned earth. The dogs wait close by, but their only motivation is loyalty and companionship; they’re not interested in the bugs and worms that entice the chickens. Yesterday Cherisse tackled the fruit trees, giving them some long overdue attention in the hope they might produce more this year. The peach trees are just now flowering, and the honeybees found their way into the partly open blossoms; yet another crew at work.