March 8th, 2015: Working for more dirt

Keeping the pecan under control
Keeping the pecan under control. (Photo from earlier in the year when just one cut was made.)

The pecan that live on the slope grow quickly. It has been about three years since the slope has been trimmed back. With the help of my brother, John, we spent half the day clearing just one part of the slope back. Cutting is quick to do. Cleaning up is not so quick. The work lies in breaking down the vegetation once it has been cut.

Once broken down, most of the vegetation is reused. The leaves were mulched and will be composted. The wood from the pecan will be used as stakes, fire wood, and terracing material.

With the slope cleared back, the yard will receive more sunlight. Which will be appreciated by the plants. In addition to extra light, there is extra exposed dirt to plant.

Slope cleared back.
Slope cleared back.

The hard pecan wood is reused to create a terrace for the newly planted pomegranate. This pomegranate was grown from seed by my mom. The seed is from the tree that was given to my dad as a seedling over 25 years ago. The fruit from that parent tree is very nice. The variety is still to be determined based on its physical characteristics. The fruit produced is softball sized, has a consistent burgundy colored rind, with dark red, sweet, juicy, and hard seeds. As of now, the leaning is toward the variety called, “Granada.”

Pomegranate (Punica granatum)
Pomegranate (Punica granatum)


Along the fences shared with the neighbor are various bushes and trees that create a henge. While the henge claims quite a bit of dirt, it serves the purpose of breaking up the monotonous sight of a fence. However, left to its own devices, it will over grow. For the general well being of most bushes and trees, it is best to thin it out. A densely grown plant will receive less air circulation and is also prone to harbor diseases and pests.




After thinning the bush, it appears that the backside can be used to grow vegetables. Black beans will be the first candidate for this spot. This is also the portion of the yard that is masked from view. It therefore is rightly referred to as the “Secret Garden.” On second thought, there is already a “Secret Garden” on site. The original “Secret Garden” is actually the front yard where unassuming vegetables and herbs are grown and incorporated into the landscape. Perhaps then this spot will be known as either, “The Other Secret Garden” or “Secret Garden #2.”

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