Friday, April 10, 2009

Pyromania... Nature Accelerated

We're trying something new this year. For years now we've been trying to partially tame the hill behind our house.  We like the wild parts of it (and have planted lots of coneflowers, Queen Anne's Lace & lilies for "naturalizing"--as they say in garden parlance), but we also want to have mown areas so that we can walk around easily and enjoy the fire circle.  Also, having very controlled and very wild areas enhances each, like positive/negative.  One doesn't look as good without the other. It's an artistic/philosophic thing with me.

I dream of having little stairways and paths, winding their way through flowery areas, etc. etc. Truth is, the soil up there is awful--a thin layer of topsoil followed closely with a thick layer of heavy clay.  Not conducive to good gardening.  So... some stairways exist (often end up covered in brome grass), but there should be more.  It's just that the soil is so darned hard to dig into to place the steps. And when you habitually only get around to doing something about it in late August when the ground is dry and hard as a brick, it just doesn't happen! Year after year...

I digress... our something new is burning off all the old, dead plant stuff from last year.  By the end of the season, that stupid brome (sp?) grass pretty much takes over everything. Ugh! But maybe, just maybe, this year will be different and we'll get a grip on it.  

With the help of our local volunteer fire department (and a sizeable donation because they are such good guys and do so many good things), our hill was all burned off, lickety split!  I think it took less than an hour.  And they have this cool little gizmo that pretty much dribbles out a combination of gasoline & diesel fuel which ends up looking like it's dripping out little bits of fire onto the ground.  I will close here with another photo.  (Am I  just a little too intrigued by all this? ha!)

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