Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chopping down trees

As a housewarming gift my mom offered to have my Uncle M and her gardener come out and prune all our trees and shrubs and clean up around the pond before our Open House.  She loves gardening but has grown weary of her own yard.  I think she would have made a good landscape designer because she seems to enjoy the laying out and planning of the garden more than the day to day maintenance.  Although, maybe everyone enjoys that?  Is weed pulling therapeutic to anyone?
In any case, they all arrived Monday morning and began pruning back the rhodys, star magnolia, dogwood, and lilac. On the west elevation of the house the view of the original entry was obstructed by 3 trees that were planted in front of the stairs. 
The northern most tree was a cherry tree that was obviously rotted at the trunk, although it was still bearing fruit. The southern most tree was a fig tree that I was looking forward to harvesting and maybe making a fig paste to use for cheese tastings and such. Plus it didn't really interrupt the view of the porch in my opinion.  The middle tree was an ornamental apple tree which they told me had been well pruned and maintained, unfortunately the original placement was poor.  It was too crowded between the other two trees and many of it's leaves were covered with black spots.
Initially I thought I would want to eventually take out the middle apple tree and that we'd take out the cherry when it was on the verge of collapse.  I liked the idea of harvesting our own cherries, but so far they tasted very sour to me. I wasn't sure if they still weren't ripe yet or not.  My uncle said they were actually considered pie cherries because of their tartness. I wasn't expecting to remove any of them during this endeavor. But they talked me into doing it now since my mom was paying them to work.  Mr. W and I hadn't talked about removing any trees though and I wasn't entirely sure of his opinion.  Unfortunately he had meetings all day with clients in from Japan so we could only text about it.  He was fine with having them removed, but was adamant about saving all the wood to use for barbequing.
Once the cherry tree had been cut down it was suddenly much easier to pick the cherries! 
They are such pretty little things. My Little Helper and I were able to pick two bowlfuls! We worked together as a good team.
 Eventually I grew weary of picking and needed to get back to laundry day. Now I need to make some pies.
It makes such a big difference with those two trees removed!  Now I have the view of the house I want.  I've been wanting to take a new family photo on the front steps to use for change of address cards, but hadn't gotten around to it because I was feeling discouraged about how to set up the camera to avoid the trees. And you can see how rotted out the cherry tree was, it's amazing that it was still standing!

The pond was completely overgrown. 

Those big leafy things are called dinosaur something.  I walked by someones yard recently and saw how tall they grow and thought, "I don't want those in my yard!" Plus there is a holly tree that drops a thousand spiky leaves and berries. They ended up transplanting a few of the sword ferns into other beds and removed a clump of euphorbia too.   My mom also decided to have her pond guy come out and fix the pond.  He met with us Monday to do an estimate and will come back on Sunday to do the work before the party. Nice! Fortunately all the pump parts are in good shape and sized appropriately.  I was not planning on fixing this pond anytime soon, so this is an especially nice gift.  She's not really excited about her own yard and pond anymore, I think she considers my yard and pond her new projects!  I don't mind at all! She's so excited about it that she brought over the Japanese lantern I bought for her pond.  I think it looks great in its new spot.  Since her pond was near the front of her house she never put a candle inside it and feels like we'll get more functional use out of it since our pond is off our back deck.
They planted a few plants that I got at Bosky Dell Native Plant Nursery.  I think they fill out the lilac bed nicely.  I've started to do some reading on Victorian gardens and will have to do a lot of thinking to figure out how best to incorporate natives into historical looking borders and beds.

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