Map of the Manor

Map of the Manor of Mixed Blessings

So there you go, there’s the exciting place where it all happens. Two and a half acres of heaven in the Virginia piedmont. Alas, it needs some love. According to one of my neighbors, a previous owner bought two acres off him and added it to the original half-acre lot. Then the guy cut down all the mature hardwoods (mostly oak) that were growing on those two acres, and sold them for lumber. After that, he scraped up all the topsoil on the back acre and sold that, too. To top it all off, he put in a second drive way going all the way back there, and graveled it, for a place to put his dump truck. Seriously.

So now the back acre (which is probably more like an acre and a half) is blighted grassland, surrounded by the trash pines the guy planted with an eye toward selling those for lumber some day, and what little deciduous forest he didn’t clear-cut. Never fear, though, I am currently engaged in retreeification, planting native species with an emphasis on those that will provide me with snacks.

Currently there’s 10 baby oak trees out there, a serviceberry bush, a baby red mulberry, and two baby pawpaw trees. Wild blackberries lurk all over the edges, and I try to encourage them. In the cards are hazelnut bushes, a couple more pawpaws, another red mulberry or two, and persimmons.