Now that the snow has melted, we are seeing our land for almost the first time since moving in, and is it ever a mess. In front of and behind the house the former trees or gardens are now fields of muck peppered with builders’ rubble, and we have to turn it back into a garden.
The cardboard from moving boxes, spread across the land, will keep out weeds, and the chest of drawers can be made into a coldframe. The evergreens have spread far beyond their bounds, and need some severe pruning.
The pruned boughs have made a trail over the mud, and more of them might make good bedding for underneath the soil – forming a barrier at the base of the garden bed, drainage for our frequent rain and gradually composting away. They are acidic, though, so they might not make a good bed for things like brassicas.
We have mixed feelings about the evergreens – they are an invasive species that must be hacked back frequently, but they are also a good windbreak in this flat and whistling bog-land. One idea was to cut back the branches and weave them into a fence, and plant seedlings of something more desirable on the fence’s sunny side. In theory, the branches would collapse and the trees die over a few years, by which time the native trees would be strong enough to thrive.