Friday, March 25, 2005


Today we moved the yew...

Before we moved the yew.
Today we moved the yew from the front curb. This shrub was planted too close to the electrical service box and in the summer is overwhelmed by the two large grass plants right next to it. Grandson, Ryan, came over in the afternoon and we moved the shrub to the fence to the back yard. This is what the area where we replanted it looked like before it was moved. Several days ago, I sprayed this area with Roundup to kill the grass. This area is hard to mow with the riding mower, so the plan was to make it into the planting bed by extending the existing bed over to the gate.

First we layed out the line of the bed using the garden hose. Then I painted the line with marking paint so we could see where to remove the sod. The sod was taken up and the river rocks were moved to make a mowing strip for this area. This also took down a double layer of rocks that made mowing difficult. The rocks were fitted into the soil leaving everything at the grass level to make a neat mowing strip. Each rock was fitted to the previous one to make a nice neat edge for the grass and to keep the gaps betweent he rocks to a minimum. After this, we tackled the yew.

Last fall I went around the yew with the spade and cut the roots in a circle around the shrub so we could move it. Now we went around it again and using the spade and the shovel we levered it out of its hole and rolled the root ball into the garden cart.

Now with a template of the size of hole we needed, we dug a hole for the plant, leaving a cone of soil in the bottom, then rolled the root ball into the hole. We backfilled the hole about halfway and filled it with water to settle the ball. Then we filled it the rest of the way with the soil from the hole.

That took care of the plant. We moved the excess sod to the backyard to fill in the low side of the swale for drainage of the back yard to keep water out of the neighbors shed. Ryan and I laid newspaper over the remaining grass to keep it from sprouting through the mulch, and then brought mulch and placed a three-inch thick layer over the newspaper. It looks really nice. This is what it looked like after we finished.

I have several pots of azeleas that will go in the area nicely.

Thanks, Ryan.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Catching up with plantings...

It has been two weeks since I updated this blog. Things are coming along. For one, Ryan, my grandson came over and spent a day helping with the brute work in the yard. Chopping up branches, moving mulch, digging and planting bulbs. Nice to have a hand and he really helped. We got the glads planted under the trees and the lilies planted along the fence on the north side of the lot. The lilies are mulched.

A couple of days ago, I moved the last of the Eunomymous manhattans from the south fence so I could plant the blueberries that have arrived in the mail. While Ryan worked at planting bulbs and spreading mulch, I tilled the blueberry patch tilling in a lot of mulch to make is a better planting area for the acid loving blueberries. Then I measured out the 10 holes for planting and got the plants out to plant. There were only eight. That is all I ordered, but in my mind I had planned on 10. Ten it is. I went to the nursury and got two more. So now we have 10 blueberries planted, 3 Jersey, 3 Coville, 2 Blueray, one Powderblue, and one Tifblue. Should be interesting. These are all 3-year old plants, so they have a little way to go before they produce much. The Tifblue, however is covered with blossems and is only 1 foot high. Here is what this area looks like with all ten small plants.

Tifblue is very popular both comercially and for home gardens. It grows 15 feet high at maturity. It is supposed to bear the first year. Looks like it will.

Powderblue is native to the southeast. Should grow well here. We are in zone 7. It is a late ripening rabbiteye blueberry. The fruit are medium sized, should be easy to pick and they say this plant is resistent to Autumn rains. The Tifblue and Powderblue are both rabbiteye varieties so they will pollinate properly.

Jersey is a tall and quite erect grower that produces large, light blue berries with a delicate flavor. Excellent for planting as a decorative shrub that gives you berries as a bonus. Fruit ripens from midseason to late. Individual blueberry varieties are self-infertile so we have planted these with other varieties.

Blueray is a mid-season variety that forms small tight clusters of large high quailty, powder-blue fruits of truly delicious flavor. Grows a vigorous bush 4 to 6 feet tall. Burgundy fall color.

Coville is a late season variety which has very large firm berries. The berries have a slightly tart taste which makes them and excellent desert berry. Extra time should be given to allow the berries to completely ripen. The open and upright bush will exhibit lovely burgundy leaves in the fall. According to the web, blueberries are acidic soil lovers, so I should add peat moss to the soil.

I finished adding the stones to the entrance to the shed. I set them into the mud without borders or sand underlayer, then put small pebbles between the stones. One is wobbley, but it will set into the ground if I keep stomping on it. I addes a sack of potting soil to the matrix and picked up 6 thyme plants to put into the spaces. should smell good when they get walked on.

I found a Hollywood Juniper at Home Depot. Nice one. It goes on the south side of the shed. Still have to plant it in the ground.

Oscilli Circle had a dogwood sale recently. Ann Durall told me about it to post it on the Hickory Woods web site. I posted it and bought three more dogwoods. Two pink dogwoods that are planted in the front yard to add spring color, and the Kausa dogwood for the backyard. The dogwoods are all sprouting new leaves now. Looking forward to next spring when we will get some blooms.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Planted more dogwoods... and more...

Yesterday I planted two more dogwoods (Cornus Florida) in the big mulch area across from the deck. These are in the plan for this area and another Kausa dogwood goes in between them. The excess soil from the holes is going to the ramp for the shed door.

I pondered the Bradford Pear and notices that it is beginning to open the buds. Should be really pretty in a couple of days. There are two branches, about 2 1/2 inches in diameter, that are crossing and should come out. Need a ladder to do that.

Today I planted four seedless grapes along the fence. This is somewhat shady at 2:30 this afternoon. Maybe they will not do too well. We will see.

Then I planted the three yellow twig dogwoods over by the day lilies and gladiolus on the north fence. They look nice now with twigs only about 3 feet high. I saw some mature plants at a nursury recently. They were 8 feet high and 8 feet across. Lots of yellow branches. These are supposed to be trimmed back every spring so that there are only a few twigs for that years plant. The ones I saw had not been trimmed in some time.

I also planted three butterfly bushes in the tree mulch for the three trees in the north end of the back yard. These are tiny, so I put plastic tubs over them to protect them from the cold tonight. Hope they make it.

Now I have to plant hostas. KORRnet sent a notice today about the new web pages they now host. One is the East Tennessee Hosta Society in Knoxville. Since I will be planting a bunch of hostas, I checked out their links and spent an hour learning about hostas. Check it out.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Planting dogwoods...

When I got back from Nell's house I planted the two dogwoods by the deck. Cold and snowy in the morning but nice and 47 in the afternoon. I sorted the rocks for the north side of the shed and for the entrance to the shed, then came in out of the cold. I need to take a couple of pictures, but not much to see yet.


Nell has problems with Internet Explorer...

Nell is one of my CHIPS clients. CHIPS is the KORRnet program for Computers for Homebound & Isolated Persons. I volunteer to help those in the Rockwood and Harriman areas in Tennessee. Anyway, Nell called and left a message that she had lost her Internet Explorer (IE) icon on her desktop. I told her I would come out on Monday and reinstall it for her. I went out there and took the Microsoft Security Update CD with me. Her system is old and somewhat out of date.

Sure enough, when I got there, the icon was missing from the desktop of here old Compaq desktop. I used the CD to update her systems, then called Microsoft using the internet and updated the programs from that point. Took another 15 minutes to download the new patches since the Update CD. When the computer rebooted, there was the icon back on the desktop. She was pleased and I went home. Only took 2-1/2 hours.

She sent me an e-mail. She cannot open attachments to her e-mails.

I called her back and agreed to go out and see her today. Seems the updated Outlook Express will not open attachments that have threats in them. They don't even get downloaded. I explained it to her and changed the color of the OE message to yellow that tells that the attachment was not downloaded. Seems that most of these are forwarded junk jokes that may have trojan horses embeded in them. I told her that it was OK that they did not get downloaded, but she was disappointed.

I will correspond with her and send some attachments that are free of threats and see if they get downloaded.

Hi, Nell...


Five yards of mulch...and more...

I ordered five more yards of mulch and it was delivered right away. Spent two days placing it in the back yard along the north fence. This covered the 10 tiny trees that have been temporarily placed just inside the fence. These trees came from the Arbor Day people. I will let them leaf out and identify them with the data that came with them. Of course each tree was marked with a different color of paint, but the paint was gone when I got them. Thats OK, I have a list of paint colors and names.

Dixie had three mums in pots left over from the fall decorations by the front door. I planted these near the other hardy mum in the back yard and mulched over the area. Then mulched over the 12 day lilies that I had planted last week. These guys were all sprouting in their bags, so they had to go into the ground. I needed the mulch for these.

A week ago when we were in Sam's I bought a large bag of 100 gladiolias. These need to be planted 4-6 inches deep, so I started digging a 2-foot wide trench, placing three bulbs (corms) and continued until I had just one left. Pretty good counting. The last row has 4 corms. Then I mulched over the area 3 inches deep.

I had tried to till the area where the glads were planted a week ago, but it was too wet and the grass clogged up the tiller and the area was just two ditches going along the fence. After digging for the glads, the soil was OK for tilling, so I started it up again and tilled the remainder of the fence line so I can mulch over it.

Seemed like a good place to plant my asparagus, so I dug a trench and placed the plants with potting soil in the hole, then covered it and covered the area with mulch.

I used the rest of the mulch to mulch around the three trees in this end of the garden. I laid out a 5-foot radius using the hoe handle and marking paint, then just brought in the mulch and laid it in the big circle and filled in the center. Had just enough to cover the areas nicely. Now I need another 5 yards of mulch.

Sunburned my head. Forgot to wear my hat until it was too late.

Then it snowed and rained. Looks nice out there now. Nice and neat with the dark mulch around the trees. The bradford pears are trying to bud.

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