June 18, 2009


You may recall that I mentioned in an earlier post how overgrown our place was when we first got here. Initially, it was quite overwhelming. We decided to start with the yard and begin to clear around the house. I could tell that at one time, it had been nicely landscaped. The azaleas, nandina, and crepe myrtles were obvious, but years of neglect had hidden other things. As I slowly began clearing out some of the overgrowth, I started uncovering some wonderful things. For example, under this pecan tree ....

A hedge of old fashioned Beauty Bush...... is a hedge of Beauty Bush (Kolkwitzia amabilis) now liberated from sapling trees, vines, and other miscellaneous unwanteds.

Beauty Bush flowers.The hedge edges the front yard, and also creates a visual privacy barrier from the road on that side of the house. The flowers are fragrant and the bees love them.

I've already mentioned that I discovered wild muscadine grape vines in the woods ....

Wild muscadine grape vines.But I also discovered a domestic grape vine in what we're calling the pasture...

Domestic grape vine - variety unknownThe poor thing is being supported by a metal stake with two tomato cages piled on top of one another. Even worse, it's in mostly shade. Still ....

It even has grapes!... it's managing. I will have to research transplanting these and find a sunnier spot for it next summer.

Another discovery ...

A row of daylilies in the overgrown field..... daylilies in the overgrown field on the other side of the house. I need to transplant these too, before we fence it in for grazing.

And here's something I didn't realize was there until I started clearing brush behind the house ....

We have fig trees!Fig trees! Complete with baby figs! These need more sun too, to ripen. But by clearing out a number of small trees, vines, and shrubs that were trying to choke them out, I've been able to provide them with more of that.

So. How much progress have we made in our clearing out project? Well, here's the view from my kitchen window just after we got started .....

Kitchen window - original view.And here's the view now .....

Kitchen window - view now.By going slowly I can be selective. I realize that much of it will want to grow back, since it's being cut down rather than pulled out by the roots. Still, it gives us a sense of the yard and the land. And if we can keep it mown around the house, we should be able to control it better.

The eventual goal is to landscape the yard completely with edible, medicinal, and dye plants. That may take awhile to accomplish, but it's nice to see that we have a head start with what's already here.


  1. Leigh, I don't think I've commented on any of your blogs in a while, and possibly never on this one, but I am **loving** seeing your new home and yard, and the changes you are making in it. It is so exciting, and inspiring to boot. Thank you!

  2. Wow - you really did clean up a lot!!

    Fig trees in your yard....that seems really cool! Fresh figs are so yummy!

    I didn't know grape vines need sun....perhaps that's why my grape vines in the woods aren't producing grapes. I thought they were just too young! It's great that yours have grapes on them already!

    Nothing like that new homeowner enthusiasm! Glad to see that you're making the most of it!


  3. You have done a LOT of work already! I am so jealous of your pecan tree(s)! They don't grow here. Figs will, although they often die back unless in a very protected spot. Protect the grapes, wild and domestic, from the sheep!

  4. I was scrolling through your post slowly as I read, but when I got to the fig picture, I was about half through and said "FIGS!" WOW! Your yard has so many yummy plants on it already. I'm in envy. I would be happy with just the pecans! I have a 2lb bag of shelled pecans in the freezer right now...yum!
    You've done so much work already. I love how things are coming along.

    oh and about those headbands, they run a tad smallish. When DD wore hers to the gym it kept slideing back...but seems to work well when her hair is down.

  5. Wow! I'm envious of all the food bearing plants that are established for you. The yard is going to be fabulous once you get it the way you want it. :-)

  6. sounds like you're fighting on all fronts:)) it's nice to find goodies like that on closer inspection. if the plants survived that long without looking after - it's likely that they grow even better and provide some bounty, when treated well! I envy you for the pecans - and the figs, which grow well here, but don't fruit:((

  7. Figs! I've never known anyone who has a fig tree.

    You sure did a lot of work. View from the kitchen window sure is nice.

  8. Are neighbor when I was growing up had grape vines and he would let us pick some and my mom would wash them but not dry them and put them in plastic bags and add sugar then we would freeze them to eat on hot days.
    Its nice to know that there is someone else out there working hard in there yard!


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