We moved recently and bought a small house on a small triangular shaped property with dozens of trees on it. Most of the trees are pines and other evergreens, which are my favorite. The unique shape of the property captivated us and we’ve been dreaming up cool garden ideas. Even before we moved we saw a lot of work in the yard. There are several different types of vines growing wild, choking off trees, and beginning to threaten others. While envisioning the future, I imagined myself making Alex a sandwich while he worked hard to clear the vines and clean up the yard.
That’s part of the back yard, a wild and wonderful mess.
Once we moved in I realized that Alex was at work from sun-up to sun-down and the clearing of the property needed to be done and waiting until warm weather would mean watching out for snakes and dealing with pests (and I’m not confident in my ability to do either). I thought to myself, “I’m going to absolutely hate this, I’m not the gardening type”. But I went out there and starting pulling up vines, some half an inch thick, others thin and twirled around tree limbs and branches. They have formed a massive thicket and run up and down many of our trees. I used to think this look was desperately charming but I started to look up the vines to identify them. One in particular is a terrible invasive type which takes down trees (oh no, the house!) and covers up plants (how rude!). It grows really fast and we just so happen to have it all over the property. I worked for 4 hours one day only to clear about a puny three ft radius of land. Then I went inside, washed my dirt covered hands and that’s when it hit me. This was the most fun I’d had in a really long time. I felt so healthy! My allergies weren’t acting up because it was late fall. I felt peaceful and energetic. All from pulling up vines, uncovering trees and plants, and finding artifacts left behind in the ground such as Twizzler wrappers and lots of old socks (I have questions for the man that used to live here).
Doesn’t look like much, but these mounds are massive in person and reflect only a tiny amount of cleared land.
Since then I’ve spent several more afternoons doing the same, enjoying myself so much I only stop when it’s too dark to see and my kids remind me it’s time to do my motherly job and feed them (think of all I’ll be able to accomplish when they can feed themselves!) Each time I feel a sense of euphoria. I did recently pull or rip a pelvic floor muscle doing this which makes sense considering I jumped into a new physical activity without any caution and without working myself up to the task. But, I’m healing and learning not to over strain. And I’m still loving it. And I’ve become a nerd to my husband who just shakes his head back and forth as I call myself the “tree whisperer”. I struggle a lot of with anxiety and depression, something I’ve blogged much about, and this activity is like strong medication for me. I don’t quite know what it is. Maybe it’s being out in this time of year with the smell of pine, the crisp fresh air, birds, squirrels, and deer all around, and no pollen to make me sneeze. All I know is I’m just going to keep it up. It’s built in exercise, too so my blood sugars love it.
See how much there is? I can’t even find my husband when he’s out there.
I was so sure I would hate doing something I turned out to totally love doing! So, this is a serious note to self: try new things! Who knows where it will lead. And if you have any tips for dealing with invasive vines, I’m all ears.