I spent the morning in the One Acre Woods. I’m pretty much exhausted. I have lounge chairs, three of them to be exact, in various places around the yard but I do not lounge in them, ever. Their purpose is mostly to slow down my lawn mowing and challenge my creativity in moving them while staying seated on the mower. I think “things” live in the cushion on one of them and the other two don’t have cushions. I keep thinking I’m going to sit out and tan, or take a nap under a tree but it doesn’t happen and won’t as long as there is a chore to be done, a weed to be pulled, fruit to be picked, leaves to be raked. It’s a woods and it keeps changing and producing tasks in a very glorious way.
I have discovered the trick which makes life easier – it is to have as many areas as possible where you are content with whatever nature naturally does. Or if not that, at least try not to have to move anything very far from where it originally started. My goal is that nothing should have to leave the premises. Fallen branches can be burned and the ash distributed. Leaves can be piled around the trees that produced them – serves them right – and called mulch. Today I cleared an area for a new vegetable bed and the clods of weed (no grass) and soil that I took out I spread out in low spots and around exposed roots. It’s absolutely serendipitous that what is not wanted in one place is exactly what is needed in another.
The vegetable bed is done now, but at one point it was a very weedy patch of lawn or rather a weed plot with a few grass plants mixed in. Hector and I have been talking about where the sunniest spot might be for a bed and how to improve the sandy soil. He had brought me a load of composted horse maure which had been sitting in a corner for a couple months and it truly was growing some very healthy looking, big weeds. I didn’t have to move the pile very far (see trick #2). I did have to carefully, carefully remove the foliage and clean the bed surface before putting the compost down. I say carefully because, as you would expect in a woods, there are lots of pretty thick tree roots very near the surface. Also, but as you would not expect, every cable and wire laid down in the last twenty years happened to run under the 5 foot by 16 foot spot I picked for a garden. It can be a scary thing when you are pulling roots and you get a strange black one that comes loose way too easy and is way too long. I could not tell which were functional but thankfully our tv and internet are still available. Of necessity the garden will be a raised bed.
Ultimately, what I want to say is that I love working outside in the One Acre Woods. It is totally absorbing and in a way quite like writing. Often I try to plan what to do with a new plant, or how to make an improvement but it doesn’t turn out to be right and I’m stuck for a while. Then suddenly one day the solution will be obvious and I’ll move things around and it will look wonderful. The excitement of trial and error and discovery, over and over. I think I’ll sell the lounge chairs.