Monday, April 24, 2006

2 new additions to our "family"

We are slowly but surely growing our family. We started out with a lone gal, Mabel. We then added Bruce and Clifford. Around that time, we brought home Larry, Darryl, and Darryl. Clifford, Larry, and the Darryl's have unfortunately passed on to the next world. We think Clifford drowned, though I'm of the opinion that he also got a little over-exposure to the sun. One of the Darryl's was brutalized, and her two siblings died of grief the following winter.

Friday, however, we brough home Jon and Chandler. Chandler is a little short, but promises to be a fast grower. Jon is tall and spindly (taller than I originally thought, actually, luckily he bends under pressure and springs back nicely).

If you thought my daughter's name was Charlotte, then you are probably very confused. I'm not talking about children, or even pets (well, pets of the sort that run around and make noise). I'm talking about trees. Mabel is our maple tree, planted by the builder in our front yard. Bruce is a dwarf spruce who seems to be thriving on the south side of our house next to Clem (the clematis). Larry, Darryl andDarryl were a trio of ill-fortuned holly bushes--one of the 2 female (Darryl) bushes expired when we planted hostas around her--we must have cut a root or something, and the other female and the male just never came back this spring. Clifford was a red dogwood that we planted on the north side of our house, where I thought it was shady enough for a understory tree, but I forgot to count on the afternoon sun that hit him directly (and the St. Louis summer sun is brutal), plus a little over-watering from our rose bushes.

Our two new additions are a bing cherry (Chandler), who is starting off short (about 5ft tall, including the pot), and Jon (an apple tree..I thought he was a Jonathan, but he's actually a Fuji..but I kept the name). I found the two of them, along with some raspberry bushes and annuals for our hanging baskets on Friday afternoon at Lowe's. We've had the perfect spot for an apple tree picked out since our deck was built--a sort of divet between the deck and the stairs where we'll have good access to pick the fruit right from the stairs. Chandler is at the "ridgeline" of our backyard hill--our back yard is about 1/2 flat-ish (contoured for draining but basically level), and 1/2 a 45degree slope downward towards the neighbors. The cherry tree went right before the slope, where he has plenty of sun and space to spread, and won't cast any shadows on my attempt at a veggie garden.

Friday night, we (mostly my husband), planted our 2 new trees, 2 raspberry bushes, 2 grape vines that he'd found earlier in the week (bought with a pair of lilacs that have already replaced Larry/Darryl/Darryl). I built a very poor-loooking enclosure for our compost pile out of tree supports and a plastic mesh (like chicken wire, but not as ugly)--We will probably need a more attractive enclosure soon, but we'll see how well the $5 variety works for us in the mean time. I also got our hanging baskets planted and hung--with Portulaca, petunias, and one with cherry tomatoes. Hopefully this year we'll keep the momentum going and whip the rest of the garden and the yard into better shape!

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