I come online to write on my blog and often face a blank wall. I used to count on the daily prompt to give me a little push on what to write, but lately, it’s just been silly. So no help there. We’re still kind of in limbo with the county and what they’re going to do with the flood control stuff, so we’re not making any major improvements to the land, though we’ve done some minor maintenance. We had a company come out last week and remove some of the overgrown blackberry bushes from the front yard, and it looks much better out there now. I’m not very pleased with the company though. While they followed their contract to the letter (clear out blackberry bushes and haul away 4 cubic feet of debris), they left my front yard something of a mess. They only cut the blackberry bushes back to stubs, which means that they’ll grow back soon enough, unless either I go out there and wrestle them out of the ground or I hire someone else to go out there and wrestle them out of the ground.
Blackberries are invasive to this area and they grow. Fast. There are some native strains, but the ones surrounding our property aren’t those. The main problem we have is that the strip of land that’s just beyond our property, the strip of land that separates our property from the highway is county property, and they don’t keep it up. I’m going to contact them and ask them about coming in and at least cutting the bushes back because they are encroaching onto our property, but I’m not going to hold my breath about them doing anything. The company we had come out cut the bushes straight up from the fence that separates the property, which is what you’re supposed to do, I know that. But not only does it look pretty awful, it doesn’t really solve the problem… It just puts a bandage on it for a moment or two.
The company we hired also brought this tiny little trailer to haul debris away, even though they knew they’d be pulling down a bunch of blackberry bushes. So I’m left with this huge pile of dead blackberry bushes in my yard. What did you expect? one of my friends asked me. I expected them to bring a chipper of some sort to chip the branches down to a manageable size that would fit into their trailer and haul, if not all, then most of it away. That’s why I paid them money, so I wouldn’t have to deal with it. Now, again, either I have to find a way to chip these branches down to size to get them into bags and pay the city to pick them up and haul them away, or I have to pay someone else to come and do it. Our neighbor suggested that we wait until this winter when the dead branches will be nice and dry, and then burn them. Trouble with that suggestion (aside from how dry everything is) is that I don’t want a pile of blackberry brambles bigger than my car sitting in my yard waiting for winter, attracting who knows what for foraging and home set up. There’s already all kinds of scat around the pile. Probably deer. I hope it’s deer. Please be deer. It’s too small for bear (I think). I don’t know!
Another thing that happened was what they found under the blackberry bushes. Now, I can’t blame them in any way, shape, or form for this, but it was still something of a shock and disappointment. I walked outside because I saw this mound of dead blackberries growing in my yard and I wanted to ask about that and my eyes were distracted by this huge pile of dirt in the corner of my property. I mean… a HUGE. PILE. OF. DIRT! that had been hidden by the blackberry bushes. It’s not even good dirt that I can use for back filling or top soil. To me, it looks like crap dirt, full of branches and rocks and stuff. I’m just gonna throw some clover seed on it and hope for the best. Maybe the clover will keep the blackberries from coming back. I can always hope, right? But it looks like someone, at some time in the not so distant past just drove a dump truck through the trees and dumped that dirt right there without anyone knowing about it. Who knows how long that’s been there? Our neighbors claim no knowledge of it.
And behind that dirt, is the chain link fence that separates our property from the county property, and you can see how the blackberries have just ruined that fence. They are a monster that’s out of control at this point. When I get my goats, I’m totally gonna let them climb that pile of dirt and eat away at those bushes. Whatever they can reach. Those bushes have got to go. There’s all kinds of other stuff over there too… mailboxes, a pallet or two, some bits of wood, beer cans (of course), etc… Whenever I get the energy to do so, I’m gonna clear that area out and see what I can do about making it look good and not friendly to blackberries. There’s got to be something I can plant there that will beat them back. Something native. On the other side of the yard we have salmon-berries, but they were overtaken by the blackberries. The landscapers uncovered them. I didn’t even know they were there. We also have raspberries growing by the well house (I should see about moving those if I can).
On the plus side, we had some rain for a couple of days and the wildflowers in my yard went nuts with it. Remember the pictures I posted a few days ago? Well, add a few more flowers into those pictures. Never mind, I’ll do it for you. Ha! I’m seeing a lot more red back there. I took these pictures yesterday from my back porch. I totally can’t even step off the back porch right now because I’d step on flowers. That’s okay though. I have a side porch. Next year, I’ll have to plan this wildflower thing a little better. You know, make paths first then throw wildflower seed around. But while the dogs are not digging the whole wildflower takeover of their yard. The bees and the butterflies are all over these flowers. And I can dig that.
Also, we have in our front yard a peach tree where no peach tree should be growing. This is not the zone for peach trees. But there it is. Just growing despite what the experts say. Now, it’s young yet, probably not more than five years old. It’s about six feet all from root to crown and doesn’t throw any shade worth mentioning, but it did product fruit this year, much to my surprise. I noticed that one had dropped to the ground today while walking the dogs so I thought I’d test to see if any of the others would come off easily, and yes, yes they did. I have twelve teeny tiny little peaches. They’re so cute. I mean, they don’t even fill the palm of my hand. There were thirteen, but I ate what appeared to be the ripest. The others still look a little green so I set them out to ripen further. The one I ate was juicy and sweet for being so small. But it tasted good. So there you have it. We also have a plum tree that has a bunch of tiny little purple plums that I’m about to go pick (tomorrow morning). I remember those from when I was young. Them’s good eats.