Archives for July 2020
So this happened.
No, not a tornado. Just a chainsaw. We are planning to expand the garage out in that direction, and so the trees needed to go.
Doug started by removing all the shrubbery underneath.
The little group of trees looked quite nice when it was cleaned up. Maybe we should have done that a long time ago.
And then the trees came down one by one.
One of the first trees felled took out one of the cedars as you can see. But after that the technique was perfected, and the trees fell where intended, without further incident.
Some of the trees were pretty tall. One measured out at about 75′. Now we are getting used to a lot more sun on the house and in the garden. I’m always sad to see trees cut down, but we didn’t really have a choice in this case.
This was one of the first beds that we planted twenty-some years ago.
It became the place where some of the rejected plants were planted.
And the plants that spread, or weren’t exactly my favourites anymore.
As you can see, it had become overgrown and rather ugly. I made the decision to tear it all out, with trying to save a few special plants. So we started digging by hand, but it was way too hard, and way too much.
Time to call in the machinery, as in, the friend with a mini back hoe.
I tried to salvage a few pieces of plants by taking them out first. As the back hoe pulled up stuff, we cleaned out as many roots and remains as we could. I left in a lilac tree, a red twig dogwood, a nest spruce, a golden cedar, and a couple of spireas. At the far end there is also a crabapple tree, and honeysuckle bush.
We got some composted manure for it, and rented a tiller to mix it all in. I bought a few golden cedars, and replanted whatever I had saved.
That’s where we left it last fall.
This spring, everything I planted came up. As did many daffodils that got tossed about in the soil, and thousands of baby onions? Maybe they were in the manure? I don’t know, but they are not fun to remove.
I have since added in dahlias, day lilies, monkshood, and some annuals. More perennials to be added in as they become available from other areas of the garden. For now, I’m trying to keep it weeded, and trying to get rid of all those onions!
We have a narrow gardening bed in our driveway. Up to this year it has been a shady area, but we had to cut down a large maple tree. However the hostas don’t seem to mind. They adapt to the sun as they grow in.
I had given this area very little attention for a few years, and so there was a large section of it overgrown with sweet woodruff. I dug out 3 buckets of the stuff, trying to get every bit that comes up in the middle of the hostas.
I looked around the garden to find some smaller hostas to move here. I had one new heuchera I had just purchased. And I moved one daylily here to see how it would do.
I think these new hostas will get a bit of sunburn initially, but next year they should adapt. A bit more weeding, some new compost here and there, a sweep up, and this area will now look much better for the rest of the summer.
When we put in the patio, we built a fire pit in the center. You can see it in these pictures from 2003, and 2005. It is under the center table.
We didn’t use it very often. It didn’t actually work that well, sunk in the ground like that.
Now, 15 years later, our family has grown from the 4 of us, to 9! And grandchildren need to have hotdogs over a fire!
So, after some research, Doug decided that a 1/2 barrel, surrounded with decorative bricks, with a table topper, would work for us.
Doug used some exterior paint for a temporary finish on the plywood topper. We’ll do something decorative when we decide on what. It’s a good scale for the patio, a useful table size, a functional and safe fire pit, and altogether it looks really great, too!
We had a milder winter for the 2019-2020 season, but it brought a few unexpected surprises. A kiwi vine that had been doing really well up to last summer, was dead. I didn’t see rabbit damage, so I have no idea why it was done.
I have had terrible viburnum beetles on the high bush cranberry bushes, for several years. I figured with the mild winter, the bugs would be really bad. But the bushes have come back with a flourish, only a few bugs, which I have controlled with insecticide. There have even been blooms.
The Korean Spice Viburnum was full of glorious blooms! And the scent – oh my!
And this iris! I bought it last year, and planted it, and promptly forgot about it. Until it bloomed! And then I remembered, and it is so much nicer in real life than the picture in the catalogue.
I have had this honeysuckle vine on this trellis for about 20 years. It has never really bloomed due to various issues, but here it is this year!
So pretty, and wonderful as it drapes on the trellis.
Every gardening season has its share of disappointments, so it’s really nice to get some unexpected lovely surprises too!