First Week of Spring

Kicking the season off with some checkbook gardening; obligatory, because our minds are willing but our backs are middle-aged. This morning I met the tree guy and he ground out 10 stumps that we needed removed: 5 dead juniper/arbor vitae skeletons, the aforementioned hated Pieris X 2, and 3 variegated Euonymus that were another nursery for powdery mildew. All 10 were ugly and eagerly bid farewell. There is so much bed real estate to plant in now, I’m giddy.

Grinding.JPGThe utility companies come the night before and mark everything – see the red spray paint on the lawn sort of pointing to the electrical box? Right in front of the place where the giant blade is eating the tree stumps? Yeah. That’s a bit unnerving, especially for the guy doing the work. When he was done, he warned me about planting anything deep rooted there (like that giant pine tree we’ll talk about in a minute). Though I’d love to camouflage the electrical box, there will only be medium to small perennials going into that bed, nothing very woody or large.

The pine tree is a story too. It’s beautiful. Mature, pyramidal, lovely, and full of some bad news beetle – Buprestids probably and maybe some Cerambycids. I saw D-shaped holes when I came for the inspection on this house (I thought asking for an arborist to come inspect as well might be going too far), so I knew there was trouble. The tips of last year’s needles are yellow, another indicator. There’s also pitch on some of the lower branches. The trifecta of conifer woe. So today the tree is getting some much needed chemo – injections of strong insecticide to try and save it. I do not want this story to end with “We used to have a pine tree out front.” We’ll see.

Clean up after stump removal is fairly intense – there are huge holes in your garden and tree debris scattered around, I am good and filthy. An excellent start to the day and to spring and to the beginning of some sunnier, warm days.

I realize there are two more things I should do before buying any plants.  1. Pull apart the raised beds sitting right in the middle of the border in the backyard, so I can redistribute the media and shape the beds, and 2. Order a few/ten/many yards of mulch to go over everything and tie the beds together while tidying things up. Mulch is to your garden what vacuuming is to your house: instant facelift.

Happy spring weekending!

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