We have a deer fence on our property, which encloses the house, the front lawn and garden (and part of the pond), the back lawn and garden, and what I like to call the “back forty.”
The back forty is a sort of no-man’s land, worst of both worlds: unplanted, un-landscaped, yet also un-nibbled by deer; a protected area of…well, thistles and nettles and vines, as it happens. Never intended to be part of the garden, as far as we can tell. It’s kind of steep, and the soil is kind of sandy, and it’s where the septic tank vents are, and (until we had a tree cut down) it was pretty shady. In short, just an ugly mess.
It wasn’t so bad when we first moved here, four years ago. Clearly, the previous owners had at least kept it mowed. There’s a wonderful hammock at the edge of the field, strung between a couple of tall cedar trees. Nice weeds grow too, here and there: bracken ferns and foxglove and wild strawberries and a local geranium.
But, four years of complete neglect will really take its toll. So a few weeks ago, I decided to do something about it.