Just after new year's, Jun & I spent a good while in the forest behind the house, cutting down the thinner cedar trees, so that there would be more room for the thicker ones to grow unhindered. We must've cut down some 20 trees in a couple of days, although it doesn't look like much when I go back to view it, whilst collecting wheel-barrow loads of chopped wood to fuel the stove.
After spring, I am hoping to get soem cuttings of weeping cherry blossom trees & red maple and grow saplings from these to eventually plant as a border of trees seperating the forest from our house. I am guessing by the time the children have grown up, they'll be fairly large and ready to be trimmed and looked after and if things go to plan, they'll eventually take over looking after the garden, but we'll see what life brings I guess whilst living it one day at a time.
There are some huge hardwood trees (Similar to oak) on the land. Keyaki is the Japanese word for the wood from the Zelkova serrata tree.
This wood is highly prized by Japanese woodworkers for its beautiful grain, and is used to fashion items as small as bowls to large pieces of furniture although I've also heard it said that it's the carpenter's heartbreaker as whilst it dries it can twist and deform terribly, so before any work is done with it, drying will take a very long time...
ne of the oldest and largest known Zelkova trees is called the Great Zelkova Nomo, in Toyono Nose, Osaka, Japan. It is more than 1,000 years old and is a National Natural Monument.
I have no plans to cut any of these beautiful trees down, rather I want to remove a lot of cedar around each of them, to give them space to grow unhindered & at the same time create a spaceous forest with smaller more interesting trees of colour and variety to enjoy. Someday it'll be nice to have paths around our land where we can walk and enjoy the beauty whilst caring for and maintaining the forest. Ideas imagined like this are my inspiration, but I'm under no illusion they'll take a long time to achieve. Indeed, someday when we have a good supply of naturally grown foods & a few small log cabins I hope we'll be able to welcome woofers who will help us make these dreams a reality slowly & bit by bit. It's all part of the excitement of seeing things develop and blossom each year.
Our daughter likes drawing flowers, so in the spring I plan to plant a lot of them in the garden together, so she can watch them blossom. Last year we planted bulbs around trees. I wonder if she'll remember them this year.
Some of the smaller trunks from the trees we cut down have been saved to make trellis with in the front garden. In the sunnier areas we'll attempt to grow grapes together with roses, which I have read - accompany each other well. Whilst doing this, I hope our daughter will take an interest and so learn about flowers and gardening for pleasure from a young age.
It's recently snowed and I took the opportunity to take pictures not just from ground level, but from the top of the roof whilst scaffolding is still up to enable me to climb so high.
Bear in mind the top of the roof is some 20 metres. I'm sure we have some trees that are nearing 40m in length, especially the Zelkova Serrata trees (That's the tall one without leaves in the background).
The above view is taken from the roof and is of a very tall cherry blossom that towers over the house. My guess is that's some 100+ years old.
The building in the left of this picture is what will eventually be moved & rebuilt as a guest house.
The two views below are aerial shots (from the top of the roof) of the right side of our front garden.
We recently met with the owner of the land directly to the right of the house (Behind the trees). He owns some of the taller ones. We asked for and received permission to cut down some of the taller ones that are on the edge of his land - at his expense. These are Japanese cedar, so the plan is to leave mostly Zelkova serrata trees, plant cherry blossoms, citrus fruit trees and cherry blossoms.