Monday, May 9, 2016

A Gift That Keeps On Giving

A belated Happy Mother's Day to all of my sweet reader moms out there in Blogland! I truly hope your Mother's Day weekend was as wonderful and productive as mine was!

In between fabulous meals and quality time with both my mom and my daughters, I managed to get a ton of things done in the garden. I'll be sharing some of those projects with you later in the week, but for now I wanted to share the biggest project that was tackled this weekend. 


We awoke on Saturday to a heavy fog lying low over the area. It was truly a beautiful and ethereal sight looking out my bedroom window. 


Looking across from the deck, the trees were like a mirage on the neighboring property. 


There's something about a spring morning mist that just feels right when you're in the mountains. It's just part of the season....the damp earth rising up to meet the warm sun. 

By the time we were done with breakfast it had cleared, and the sun was playing peek-a-boo with us for most of the day. There were showers on and off all day, but I couldn't let them stop me. 


The biggest project that was tackled this weekend was this:


The centerpiece of my property was a mess. The Dogwood, that the previous home-owners had planted, was not at all suited to life on the mountain top. It never produced so much as one itty bitty flower. And the plantings underneath the tree were all wrong. Chives, very tall Daisies, and even taller Tansy. 

Not to mention the weeds. Lots and lots of weeds. 

Sigh. 

I'm not sure what the plan was here, but for me, the area under a tree needs to complement the tree, not fight with it. 

This is what it looked like last summer:


That just doesn't work for me at all. It all had to go. It was just a mess in the middle of the garden. 

My daughters bought me a lovely new tree as my Mother's Day gift, and it was time to get it planted. 

Thanks, girls!  Mommy is so excited!

The tree is only a youngster right now, but eventually it will look like this:

'Bloodgood' Japanese Maple
Isn't it just gorgeous? It will be nice to add another color to the landscape, rather than the sea of green that was there previously. 

My sweetie came over to my house on Saturday afternoon, and in between raindrops he tackled the hardest part - digging out the Dogwood and planting the new Bloodgood Japanese Maple. Thanks, Sweetie - you're the best!

The Dogwood never stood a chance, really. It was planted on top of a pile of giant rocks. My poor sweetie had quite the time digging out all those giant rocks, and making the hole large enough to give the new tree a good start in my garden. 

The Dogwood is all packed up and ready to go live in the valley, at my mom and dad's summer home. It will be much happier there!

After my honey was done with the digging and planting....and sweating and cursing....it was my turn. 


I pulled apart the stacked stone wall surrounding the tree, and dug out every single root that I could find of the previous plantings. 

What a mess. What I thought was going to take me an hour took about 3 hours!

When I had all the roots dug out, I rebuilt the wall from scratch, making the circular raised bed a bit larger all around. I felt it was a better fit with that little bit larger diameter. The old footprint was really too small for the property. 


I topped off the whole thing with 4 large bags of organic potting soil, and smoothed it all out. It will get mulched eventually, but at that point I was completely out of steam. 

I'm delighted with the end result and can't wait to see the tree leaf out and settle into it's new home. 


It looks pretty small when you're looking down from the deck but eventually it will be just the right size for this location. 


The tree is centered on the front of the house when you are looking at it from across the lawn. 

PS - the deck above is still a work in progress - see how it's two different colors right now? I'll be sharing updates on that project when It finally gets completed. The weather has held things up....doesn't it always? 


The new tree will be an absolutely lovely focal point when it grows up a bit. Meanwhile, I plan to plant annuals around the base, to really make the centerpiece of my property a proper centerpiece. 


I love the way the circular bed is a focal point when you enter the property, by the stone path. The tree, when it grows up, will also help to add a bit more privacy. 

Meanwhile, at the end of a very busy day in the garden, I could just barely drag myself up the stairs to the deck. But I managed....and I poured myself a raspberry gin, and settled into a chair by the firepit for a little rest before starting dinner. 

I had lots of company stop up and visit me while I sat in my comfy chair by the fire. 


This cute little guy spent ages trying to decide if it was worth it to jump up and help himself to a peanut. I don't think he quite knew what I was, sprawled out in the chair, covered with dirt. 


The Red Winged Blackbirds have been regular visitors to the flat feeder this spring and they are a most welcome sight. 


I think my visitors approve of my new tree. 

They seem happy here. 

So am I. 

Very. 

28 comments:

  1. Your new tree will be beautiful with the reddish foliage. I love Japanese Maples and have never been able to keep one alive. It's so dang hot here you have to have just the right spot. I'm glad the Dogwood is going to live in a place that's better suited. :)

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    1. I love Japanese Maples, also - I had a few tiny ones at my marital home, ones I bought on clearance sale at Lowes and Home Depot at the end of the season. I wonder how large they are now...I guess I'll never know. Oh well, this one is much larger and I can't wait to see it fill in as time goes by!

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  2. What a sweet tree. I bet you really enjoy watching it grow over the years!!

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    1. Perhaps my daughters will take wedding day photos in front of it someday, Kim!! :)

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  3. Your daughters sound as sweet as my two. My youngest took off work today to help me plant flowers and vegetables. What a wonderful gift they are. I can depend on them when there's no one else. I love Japanese Maples and especially like you rock border around yours.

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    1. Isn't that just the best, Phylis? My daughters helped me around the house and gardens this weekend, also. It sure is nice to have some help! I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day, Phylis!!

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  5. You should keep that first pic of the fog through the window for Halloween. It is eerie. I'm so jealous. I've always wanted a Japanese Maple. I looked up something for you about planting around trees. I knew I'd read something somewhere. Don't know if it pertains to your situation or not...http://www.finegardening.com/planting-under-tree
    Brenda

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    1. It's kind of spooky, huh? That tree....perfect Halloween tree!! By the way, you could plant a Japanese Maple in a large pot in a protected corner on your patio...depending on what zone you are in. Are you in 7? It would work for zone 7 for sure.

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  6. All that backbreaking labor is going to be so worth it when your plants and trees start to mature. You've got a lovely piece of property and the perfect place to view it all from your deck!

    Love the photos of the foggy morning!

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    1. Thanks, Vickie! Yes, I tell myself that as I'm straining and heaving and carrying things that are are far too heavy for me....it will all be worth it in the end! And let's face it, I need the workout anyway.

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  7. Now just look at that!!! The tree area looks awesome and its so cute right now. It will be a beautiful red tree before you know it!
    Lisa

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    1. I know....the years will fly by, the tree will grow up, and I'll be older and older and older....:)

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  8. I love Japanese Maples and have always wanted one on my property, but there's no room! We have such a small plot of land. What a wonderful gift from your daughters! I really like how you built that rock border around the tree.

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    1. Thanks, Melanie! I've built many a rock wall in my day....that's something we have plenty of around her....ROCKS!!

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  9. I've got a suggestion for an annual to plant under the tree. Have you ever grown Cerinthe (Honeywort)? It's gorgeous, self seeds but isn't invasive and the bees love it. Blue green leaves and amazing navy blue and turquoise flowers. It's one of my favorites out here in Oregon.

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Gayle - I have never even heard of that plant and I just had to go look it up - it's gorgeous! Ok, off to do some more research....thanks again!

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  11. You will love that tree as it grows. We have a similar one in our backyard. The top accidentally got broken years ago but it has spread out and is just glorious! It glows when the afternoon sun hits it. P.S. You have wonderful daughters! And a wonderful sweetie! You are a very sweet lady and I am glad you have good people in your life.

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    1. That's so sad, glad the tree recovered, Donna! Thanks so much for your sweet comments and for being such a loyal reader - it's great to have such wonderful followers on my little blog!! xo

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  12. You and your sweetie did a great job. The tree looks great there. And, I sure am enjoying your blog.

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    1. Thanks so much, Laurie, I'm so glad to hear that!!

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  13. I love your larger bed. The tree and the stone wall look great! It was very sweet of your sweetie to dig the hole for you. That's always a job.

    It will be fun watching your tree grow and seeing what you plant in the bed to compliment the tree and your surroundings.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

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    1. I have been giving it some thought but don't have a definite plan just yet. Hopefully some brainstorm will hit me when I go to the garden center, Lorraine!

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  14. Oh, my what a lot of work! But that tree will be so beautiful when it matures! Nicely done! Nancy

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    1. It's just starting to leaf out....I'm obsessed!

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  15. Goodness Debbie, you are a real go-getter in the yard! It's nice that your sweetie came to help you out. I am sure your tree will grow and thrive on your property. Glad you had such a nice Mother's Day :)

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