We've been spoiled, I suppose you could say, since we moved into our house in 2008. For three years, ours has been the only house on our side of the street, comfortably tucked in between a majestic Liquidambar (Sweet Gum) tree on one side, and a rough but wildlife friendly thicket on the other. The thicket was where the stray/dumped cat, Cali, raised her kittens last summer. It's been home to a procession of squirrels, raccoons, skunks, snakes and other critters, many of which paid us visits on various occasions.
We knew things wouldn't stay like that forever but, since we moved in and the economy tanked, we hoped it would be many years before we lost what we looked on as our personal forest.
Recently though, there has been more activity in the neighborhood. More homes have been going in, a new builder has moved in, (after our builder moved out) and a new model home is going up.
The writing was on the wall earlier this week, when two lots on the next street were cleared.
And today I came home to see this:
...indications that any day now, our little forest will be history :-(
I just hope they do all the ripping out of trees while I'm at work. I don't think I could stand to be here while it's happening.
On a brighter note, we've got tropical milkweed coming up all over the place, ensuring we'll have plenty to offer the Monarch butterflies when they come through on their migration.
Last year we had lots of Zinna "Profusion" that I hoped would self seed, but I hadn't seen any signs of that so I purchased some more seed which arrived from Park Seed today.
Now look at what I saw while out in the garden today. One of last year's zinnias (and actually I saw two or three of them) has finally self-seeded and was being checked out by a couple of skippers! I'll still go ahead and scatter some seed in the border and I think I'll share the rest with my neighbors.
It's been fun living in Wild America for three years. I can only hope that we still get birds, squirrels, butterflies and other wildlife visiting our garden when we have new homes on either side where once there was wildlife habitat.
Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.