Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's war...

Several years after moving into this house my husband asked our realtor to track down the owner of the lot behind us. Our village has a rule about village owned lots - in order to buy one from the village, you have to build on it. And there are square footage requirements. However, if the lot is owned by a private individual, you don't have to build. We tracked down the owner of the lot in Tennessee. She was responsible for moving prisoners from one state to another. I had always thought that was a Federal Marshall's job, but what do I know? She was hard to track down and it was even harder to get the papers signed, but my husband is now what we call a "land baron". He owns about 1.5 acres. The lot is semi-wooded filled with a lot of junk trees but a couple of nice ones, too. He rescued a gorgeous crabapple that was covered with grape vines. The crabapple rewarded us with the most beautiful raspberry colored blossoms. He created a path through our lot and the one the village owns next door. We would like to buy that lot also since our house lot is shaped like a wedge of pie with the narrowest end where the house is and the widest end at the back of the lot. So we actually have two lots behind us that join our land, one we own and one we'd like to. He maintains both lots by picking up debris and mowing the trail. What's the war, you ask? We have garlic mustard in the woods. When he purchased the lot it was everywhere. Knee deep and covered 75% of the lot. He is diligent about pulling it. When I can't find him, he's in his "woods" with a bucket. Several years of this has reduced the tonnage to about 10%. He even pulls in the lot the village owns because the plant seeds itself so vigorously that we would have it again it we didn't pay attention. As we cleared our lot of garlic mustard, we planted woodland plants, violets, bleeding hearts, ferns, trillium and jack in the pulpit. Slowly but surely it's taking shape.

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