Replacement Dogwood

A couple of weeks ago Charlie had to take down a dogwood tree in the front yard.

The same dogwood today has no leaves like the others in the yard.

While it flowered this spring it has not leafed out as the others have done so we decided it must be replaced.

This dogwood tree is so young it has never flowered yet which should make it a good replacement.

I asked Charlie to move a young dogwood from a spot near the street into the now empty spot.

Charlie carefully dug up the tree and loaded it into our yard cart..

The hole was a couple feet deeper into the yard so it wouldn’t interfere with overhead electric wires as it grows taller.

This area of the yard used to be shaded until all the tall oaks died and were removed.

Charlie planted it and watered it very well but it became droopy.

Since the tree was not growing straight Charlie used stakes and strings to make it plumb-ish.

Between heavy rains and the hose, we’re trying to keep the leaves from drooping further.

Dogwoods are a little finicky but can be transplanted if well cared for.

Do you rearrange plants in your yard?

Managing the Dogwoods

We have many beautiful dogwood trees in the yard.

Glade Cottage is framed by dogwood blossoms.

At this time of year they are stunning.

The red tree in the foreground is the dogwood in Fall of 2017.

Unfortunately the dogwood tree in the front of the yard at the entrance to the driveway has died an untimely death.

The same dogwood today has no leaves like the others in the yard.

While it flowered this spring it has not leafed out as the others have done so we decided it must be replaced.

Our electric chain saw cut easily through the branches.

Charlie cut the branches off.  Then he cut down the trunk close to the ground and finished trimming the branches.

This was a small dogwood so not difficult to take down.

I was sad to see the space in the yard where the dogwood had been growing.

This dogwood tree is so young it has never flowered yet which should make it a good replacement.

Happily I have identified another young tree in our yard near the street that can replace the dead one.

The plan is to put another tree in its place.

Charlie has already dug the hole.

Do you have a favorite tree?

Living Party Favors

We planned a Chapel Dedication last fall but postponed it until the first week in May.

Shade-loving perennial plants have been planted on the hill near the cross.

With the event less than 3 weeks away I wanted to get the  favors organized.

A local nursery had a large selection of bedding plants.

I decided to get enough flowering plants for everyone who attends to place one in memory or honor of loved ones in our chapel area.

I bought enough plant markers to use in our own garden.

I ordered plant markers from Amazon so the honoree could be memorialized in writing.

Flowers in shades of pink and magenta with accents of chartreuse.

I purchased double the number of plants to have enough for each person to take one home with a tag that says: May your love in Christ grow and flourish.

Some of the flowers (dark pink) are nicotiana which I hope will be attractive to our hummingbirds.

The pink flowers should complement other ones already in the yard like the Japanese blue iris.

A lilac bush is beginning to bloom near the back of the greenhouse.

With our unpredictable weather I am storing the plants in Charlie’s greenhouse.

The entire yard is lightened with dogwood blossoms.

The rest of the yard is cooperating by breaking into bloom.

What’s blossoming in your yard?

Priority: Clean the Yard

Charlie and Sug have been trying to get the yard cleaned up for our upcoming party on May 4.

The lumber in the background had become covered with English ivy.

Over the years the westside yard has become overgrown with English ivy that is covering some oak tree stumps and logs.

The soil under the logs is dark and fertile and will hopefully grow new grass.

Charlie was starting to clear this area.  He had to pull away the vines and move the logs back to the fenceline.

Everything was looking neat and tidy.

In the meantime Sug has been clearing the yard beyond her Cottage.

The pile is an eyesore to the Cottage dweller.

Then Charlie accepted a load of wood chips from a tree cutter who had been working in the neighborhood.

This pile couldn’t be in the driveway at a more inopportune moment.

The pile is now filling the driveway.

We have a yard cart but Charlie prefers the wheelbarrow.

The priority is to move the pile to a less central area.

Bucket by bucket the pile is being moved.

And since Charlie arranged for the pile we’re hoping he’s going to move it.

Do you keep priorities in mind when deciding on what to tackle next?

Green Planters

Back here I made a pair of cedar planters.

Small cedar planters.

However, I trimmed the tops with scrap wood.

These planters stay out in the weather all year round.

Over the years while the planters have remained sturdy, the trim has deteriorated.

The rotten wood might be termite damage.

Sug decided to fix that by replacing the rotten wood with new miter-cut pieces.  The old wood was removed and the new pieces screwed into the planter.

New trim has been screwed to the top edges of the planters.

She bought another can of “Bunker Hill” green semi-gloss paint and repainted the entire planter after priming the new wood.

Bunker Hill green planters for The Glade.

Next item is to fill the planters with beautiful plants.

What needs a small repair at your house?

Getting the Chapel Ready

Sug has started clearing up the area around the cross for our Dedication in May.

I like how the benches and cross fade into the scenery.

She moved the Chippendale benches to the clearing near the back of the yard.

The area will be more colorful when the iris and daffodils begin to bloom.

Due to the pitch of the ground bluestone slabs were placed under the rear legs to level and stabilize the benches.

Our contact information has been masked behind the rectangle outlined in grey.

This week we’ll be distributing invitations to the dedication.

Have you been into your garden this spring?

Gardening is a Slow Process

Charlie has started dismantling the garden so he can build it up again.

We’re planning to use the same iron fence at the front of the garden.

It used to look like the above photo.

The garden is being totally redesigned.

In progress, slow progress, the fence has been dismantled.

Sug has moved most of the iris that flanked the garden gate.

During the take down.

Baby steps.

Do you prefer taking down or building up?

Working on the Garden Plan

Charlie doesn’t want to let next summer’s garden get a late start so we’ve begun to work on a new plan on paper.

The circle denotes the fire pit.

I suggested that my method for design relies on a certain amount “measuring by eye”.  Charlie could not understand that until I quickly sketched it out.

We’re using some iron railing removed from the back porch (which has since become the conservatory) as an entrance to the potager.

I asked him to first move the iron fence nearer to the driveway — 2 feet back from the border.

Something along these lines should work.

Then we will stake out a fence, by eye, to include the greenhouse within its perimeter.  Charlie was excited by this notion.

The fire pit is easily dismantled and moved.

Of course it might mean that the fire pit will have to be relocated.

Are you a measurer or an eyer?

A New Layout for the Garden

When we installed the greenhouse the garden area diminished in size.

The greenhouse displaced 4 squares.

The greenhouse, though, was a nice addition to the yard.

The firepit replaced 4 more squares.

Then we built a fire pit which eliminated even more of the planting beds Charlie has been using to plant vegetables.

The raised beds need to be rebuilt.

I promised him I would help him design the altered space which would include new beds and a surrounding fence to keep critters out.

We need a substantial fence to ward off deer, rabbits, groundhogs, squirrels, etc.

I’d like to use the raised-bed garden at Growing a Greener World as inspiration.

In the past deer have helped themselves to the garden.

The next steps are:

  • Move iron front fence and gate closer to the driveway,
  • Create 6 elongated raised beds,
  • Surround the entire area with a protective fence.

    Something simple like this would be sufficient to deter small animals.

How do you protect your garden?

Starting Plants

I brought the olive trees into the conservatory here.

The little tree had a six-inch shoot growing from the base of the trunk.

The Greek tree put off a shoot at the bottom of the trunk.

Can this cutting become a tree?

I clipped the shoot and stuck it in a skinny vase of water.

I think I can see roots beginning to form.

Tiny roots seem to be growing out from the nubs.  I’m hoping I can plant this sprout and start a new tree.

I ordered 7 “Brass Buckles” holly in July, 2017.

I also plan to take cuttings from the Brass Buckles ilex on the side of the house.  I originally bought seven plants and only 4 have survived.  I’m hoping I can bring the count back up to 7.

What plant would you to have more of?