Clearing 40+ Years of Overgrowth

It’s a fun time to be a volunteer in the gardens with working on the big projects for this winter. Many of the volunteers got hooked on gardening on the Rock because of the initial uncovering and ‘discovering’ of the forgotten gardens. For people that loves getting dirty and feeling like you are making a difference – this is the time to get involved!

 

The lawn, which is being prepared to be planted in the Fall of 2013 with native grasses, has become neglected and the ‘green’ of the lawn is all from non-native grasses and oxalis. But even this green vegetation died during the dry summer, leaving a barren looking backdrop to the manicured gardens.

 

To prepare the area, the first layer of mulch layering has been laid down, and to my dismay, birds have pecked their way through the compost and the cardboard to reach the soil, allowing light to the oxalis that we are trying to suffocate.  Those darn birds! I’m hoping to place another layer of cardboard and mulch in the coming week.

 

Beginning to lay down cardboard to smother the oxalis and weed seeds. A layer of mulch is then placed on top of the cardboard. Photo by Shelagh Fritz

Beginning to lay down cardboard to smother the oxalis and weed seeds. A layer of mulch is then placed on top of the cardboard. Photo by Shelagh Fritz

The finished cardboard and mulch layer. Photo by Sarah Mendel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the meantime, the volunteer crew is working away at clearing the forty plus years of overgrowth on the north end of the historic lawn. The overgrowth is being tackled from all sides, and today we finally made it to the base of the large Albizia tree that is in the middle. Another few hours were spent digging up ivy roots and before we knew it, it was 2pm already! As we worked, one of the volunteers wondered out loud if the author of Jack in the Bean Stock was a gardener that had pulled ivy. Some of the ivy shoots were easily 20 feet long!

Marney tackling the overgrowth. Photo by Shelagh Fritz

Marney tackling the overgrowth. Photo by Shelagh Fritz

Clearing ivy is pretty addictive – the work is slow but methodical.

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