Taming a woodland - Am I Nuts?
A little more than an acre of our property is a woodland area that I am trying to tame. The canopy is a combination of Scotch Pines the remainder of a 30 year old Christmas tree planting and some very large black walnuts. This woodland patch is surrounded by 30 foot tall Spruce (also old Xmas trees) The woody understory consists of Cornus alternafolia, Spice bush (few) & Sambucus spp. and numerous saplings (black walnut, ash, cherry, spruce, etc.)
We never used this area in the past as it was full of brambles & tall perennial weeds, & vines (including poison ivy). BUT, the winter before last I removed a number of the dead or dying Pines, tore out a lot of the brambles, poison ivy & grape vine and saw the potential for a lovely woodland walk.
Here is the "am I nuts part";
Over the years a nice sprinkling of 'nice' natives have established a foothold under the weeds (trilliums, false solomon's seal, Arisaemas, violets, etc.) However, for the second year I have pulled & am pulling a very healthy population of garlic mustard. And there appears to be a ground covering seedling population ready to keep me busy for the next 100 years :o(
I have started to move in some of the shade lovers from my garden including hostas, cimicifugas, aralias, Hellebores, Brunneras, & ferns - this will not be a purist's native planting - afterall, the woodland was manmade to begin with!
Now the the hostas are unfurling I have also discovered that the woodland must have a very healthy population of ... SLUGS - ick!
So keeping in mind that I have garlic mustard up to my ears, slugs eating my new hosta plantings, blackflies & mosquitos taking a few nibbles at any bare skin ~ AM I NUTS??? or, is this a 'do-able' project .......
Right now I am desperate for some encouragement & slug solutions or a thumbs down 'you're crazy' permission to quit kind of comments