Friday, May 25, 2007

Hagen's Woods - Still working on the big project from 2006

On one side of the backyard I have planted a collection of flowering trees and shrubs, all eastern US natives. Trees went in first, a disease-resistant Valley Forge elm, a redbud, two American hollies, a Carolina silverbell and a Yellowwood, the tree shown in the center of the photo.
Several of the new disease resistant flowering dogwoods released by the U. Tennessee dogwood researchers. Appalachian Spring is resistant to anthracnose, the others are resistant to powdery mildew.

Each year I've added shrubs: Serviceberry, scarlet elder, Viburnums trilobum, dentatum and nudum, Spicebush, and Rhododendron atlanticum, arborescens, canescens, periclymenoides, and some hybrids of the native azaleas. I'm about to move some redtwig dogwoods from the front yard where I decided they're too big and straggly for the space.

This gave me a miserable job of mowing in, around and between these individual plants. This year I'm tying them all together into one mulched island. I'm using a year's worth of newspaper and making weekly trips to the liquor store for cardboard. A thick layer of paper goes down first to smother the sod, then mulch over top. It's not quite done but already looking good.
My efforts to attract wildlife have, in fact, attracted wildlife, mostly in the form of rabbits. Lots of hungry rabbits. I spent a couple of weeks this winter making small chicken wire fences to go around each young tree and shrub since last winter they mostly were eaten to the ground. 12 to 18 inch high rings seems to do the job.

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