Inspiration and opportunity usually don’t occur at the same time but when they do it can be quite fun.
Now comes the opportunity. About 7 years ago my neighbor decided to clear a part of his lot and cut down twelve big trees to make room for a building. Rather than get upset about the trees I just asked him if I could have the stumps. He of course said yes because he wasn’t sure how he was going to dispose of them. He said he would bring them over so I cleared a space back in my woods to place them. After breaking two winches trying to get them on a flat bed the whole project got put on hold for about a year.
area cleared before stumps
Earlier that next spring I heard an excavator working on a new driveway on the other side of the woods so I walked over and asked if he would be able to move a few stumps from one side the street to the other. Long story short, he said yes so for a very small fee he moved them right where I wanted them. Being a gardener and not having a big budget all my projects need to be done on the cheap. It seems like opportunities come along at just the right time.
It was also May so not the right time to plant so over the course of the summer I started to hoard plants in the nursery that would work for this planting. Nice to have a nursery. About a month later we brought in 5 truck loads of gravel to make paths going into the woods then 5 yards of soil for planting. toward fall we planted over 400 plants in the new area. I wanted it to blend into the woods.
The other little challenge I forgot to mention is we have about 100 birds, 70 chickens plus peacocks, ducks, guinea hens and turkeys. They all have access to the woods. They make gardening difficult so I screened off an area where the stumps are. The area is about 25 feet wide and 65 feet long. I used a 3 foot tall mesh netting that is barely visible so it blends into the other part of the woods nicely. That worked for a bit but eventually they figured out how to get over the mess so that was replaced with cattle fencing. The next challenge was access so Gary built two stone gates, one to come in and the other to leave. The stone also looks very natural and most came from the site while we were planting. The garden is on glacier till so no shortage of rock. Every time you dig a hole you get rocks.
Into the woods
I now have my secret garden in the woods. It is much smaller in scale than the two Stumperies that inspired me so it is more of Stumpette but for me it is just as magical. Thanks to Pat and Richie for the inspiration and thanks to my neighbors for the opportunity.
into the woods
after soil, before plants
after soil, before plants
Path into the woods