The Hügelzaun Experiment

I bought this wonderful little house just over a year ago. There is so much story behind that one sentence, but I’ll save that for another day, another post (or two).

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to do something marking the borders of the property for many reasons. Mainly, I wanted to traipse freely and do projects and sit quietly and observe in the small wooded section behind the house without worrying I was going into the yards of my neighbors.

But, also, I had concerns about the neighbor directly behind me (through the wooded area) when I first moved in. Legitimate safety concerns. I was constantly trying to balance trying to be more community-minded and open with using wisdom and paying attention to internal alarms. That house is now empty (not as a result of anything from me–I really was trying). I’ll leave it at that.

Back to the property lines: At first, I thought of a second chain link fence (I have a fenced-in portion for my dogs – but there is a creek, so it would have had to be a separate space. But, chain link was so unnatural in this more-natural area of the property and, because of the creek, I would have had to parcel up the land too much. Plus, I wasn’t even sure it was feasible among all the trees.

Then, I thought of planting a line of trees and bushes to make a screen and a hedge. But, I was afraid that those particular neighbors would trample the young bushes to intentionally destroy them or just out of carelessness as they regularly visited the creek and cut through to this side of the neighborhood. And, how do you dig holes for root balls in an established wooded area? Nonetheless, I was at the researching native plants stage (slooowly).

Then, I saw a infographic for Hügelkultur as I was quickly scrolling by on Facebook. That was it! The inspiration I was looking for. I had plenty of old tree branches lying around that I did not want to send to the landfill but was still figuring out their purpose here. It would be natural, blend in with the wooded area well, and demarcate the property lines that I had had surveyed a year ago. And, now was the perfect time as someone seems to be hauling trash away from the property behind me, probably in preparation to put it on the market.

So, while I waited for the power to come back on post Tropical Storm Ian today, I was hauling rain-soaked decaying branches around in near 100% humidity. I did think it was apropos that I washed a cute little twig out of my hair on the same day that I finished reading Rooted (by Lyanda Lynn Haupt).

I was also removing debris that was caught on the footbridge over the little creek and figured this was the perfect place to deposit it.

I will be honest. I have no idea what I am doing. I don’t want to delay starting this project until after I have researched and learned all the things. So, this will be a learning-in-process and adjusting as I learn — an experiment. I figure I will be slow enough that I hopefully can not do significant harm to the land and its habitats.

Very glad to have an excellent pair of boots while working around a creek after a tropical storm.

Surveying the world the morning after Tropical Storm Ian. Luckily, we were mostly only dealing with a lack of power.