Close this search box.

Thinking of a new garden, but it’s not my fault


I have a bad habit of adding gardens. I certainly do not need anymore gardening space right now. I find it hard to keep up with the maintenance of what I already have and there are plenty of holes in the existing gardens that need to be filled. Plus I already have my eye on an area in the back yard that I was planning to focus my new gardening efforts on.

The problem is that I don’t really embrace “naturalized” areas other than where the ostrich ferns have taken over. I just can’t stand looking at mass quantities of weeds. But in some areas I do, if only because I just don’t have the time to take on another massive de-weeding project.

And then something changes and sort of forces my hand.

And last week “something” came in the form of the electric line tree cutters.

To be fair, I knew this was coming. I just wasn’t prepared for what it would look like. People who live in the city, especially in newer areas where power lines are buried, probably aren’t familiar with the crews who come to trim trees around power lines every few years. Seeing these guys, as nice as they are, in your neighborhood is not a good thing. They are hired by the local utility to do the bare minimum required to clear overhead power lines. They aren’t arborists. In fact, I believe their contract with the utility forbids them from doing anything beyond the minimum.

Fortunately they seem to have started taking a kinder, gentler approach, probably because of all the irate homeowners stalking them. About a month ago we got a note on the front door telling us that several of our trees needed trimming. I was able to set up an appointment to have them come out and discuss exactly what would be done. The original notice called for trimming an oak and I was able to point out to them that the branches of this enormous tree are so far away from their power lines, even a hurricane wouldn’t be a problem. And I was also able to request that instead of topping the two evergreens (spruces, I think) that flank the entrance to our driveway, they just remove them. In fact the trees had already been topped about five years ago and they were already wider than they were tall, but they had continued to grow and the tree trimmers were planning to just lop off another 8 feet.

I was actually happy to see them go as the trees has been ruined with that first pruning several years ago and I didn’t want to have to worry about having it done.

Anyway, all of this is a long way to say that those two trees are gone, as well as several branches on other trees, but there’s nothing to be done about that. And with those two spruces gone, the end of the driveway is looking rather shabby.

This is the view from our driveway looking at the road (it’s a small, one-way private gravel road maintained by all the homeowners on the road). The driveway is in need of some new gravel I think, but in general, it’s pretty rustic. Off to the right is where the jewelweed is busy propagating with reckless abandon.

To the right of the driveway if you’re standing in the road, you can see where one tree was removed. Unfortunately between the tree behind it not getting any light and the tree guys trimming off many of the branches on one side, you can see what’s left is not pretty.
On the left side of the driveway you can see it looks like a swamp. The small creek that runs through a culvert under the road actually pops up there, but everything growing there, save for a few ferns, is ugly weeds.

 Here’s a close-up. It’s bad news.

So I need to do a bit of gardening there. It’s a tough area because it doesn’t get a ton of light and it’s too far from the house to be easy to prevent deer attacks. I have decided that I can’t spend all my time trying to keep the deer from eating everything so at some point I have to draw the line on where things have to fend for themselves and where I’ll fight off the deer for them. 
Low maintenance would be lovely, so I’m thinking about some shrubs. Even something that gets a bit rangy would be ok. It doesn’t have to be a showpiece, I just want to not look like Bigfoot might pop out at any moment.
It’s not going to be a particularly fun project so I’m going to stew on it a little, and maybe put down some cardboard or paper to work on smothering some of the weeds this fall and then try to do some planting in spring. 
But I don’t think this should count toward my “new garden” ration.

One Response

  1. We have gone from a yard that was total shade to half of it being total sun. We have been moving hostas, coral bells and hydrangea…adding daylillies roses and other fun sun stuff. For the most part all have been fairly low maintenence, we love to have cut flowers in the house…that takes care of the dead heading 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

What would you like to know? Search, or jump to categories below.