Friday, April 30, 2010

More rocks, more tree moving, more history

 What kind of flower is that??

 Just a tulip, casting a shadow on pink granite!

Carl surprised me this week by taking vacation for a half day on Wednesday and all day today, Thursday.  Like I've said before, when he's home, we get a whole lot more work done.

We decided to focus on the east side of the quarry berm exclusively in an effort to get things done. A little bit of history again; before the quarry was dug, the area was planted with rows of blue spruce trees in a circular fashion.  When we decided to put the quarry in, we traded the spruce trees which were in the way of excavation in exchange for digging the hole with Charlie.

We left the trees directly around the quarry stand, but as time went on, those trees were either moved or sawed down or pulled out.

The 2006 picture above shows our friend the tree spade owner digging a tree on the east side of the quarry.  This is the area we are working on right now.  The spruce were outgrowing their space and starting to encroach on the quarry itself.  We had one of the three trees moved out to a new home but the other two we ended up cutting down because they were too big to move.  After we had those three trees removed, we had another one of those, 'oh no' moments because we didn't realize how the trees framed the quarry and made it more attractive until after they were gone.  

Before we built our own tree spade and before we met anyone who owned a big, commercial spade, this is how we moved trees around here:
This is Joel in 1996, 10 years old, down in the trenches again hand digging a cedar.  How's that old saying go...'they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth'?  It appears Joel was born with a shovel in his hand; no one has moved more dirt in this yard by hand than Joel!

After the three spruce trees were removed, we realized how much we needed something else in the area they occupied.  We had some small limestone left over from the quarry construction, so Carl and I set out building a small berm.  After we finished it, we weren't very satisfied;  it was an inadequate little pipsqueak of a 'hill' and the rocks we used were too small to blend in with the bigger stone the quarry was built from.  Below is a picture of the beginning construction taken in August, 2008.

 Now we move forward to April 2010 and the east quarry berm, built a bit higher with the new bigger stone we got in last fall.

 I happened to remember there was a big rock we had put in place before we hauled the dirt in and buried it.  So, before we went any further on Monday night, we had to dig the rock out.

Hard to see in the above photo, but lurking under the soil.
 We managed to fish it out of the pile of dirt.
This is how the garden looked on Wednesday afternoon.
And here's how it looked Thursday night just before sunset.
We planted two trees already!  One is a 'Picea Glauca Fastigiate'? well, that's what the tag says, but I'm thinking the tag isn't right since I've never seen a blue spruce so green; looks more like a Picea Abies to me, but doesn't seem to need to be staked.  We'll find out when the new top growth appears.  We bought this tree from Menard's for $29.

Here's the second tree, a Pinus Koraeinsis 'Winton' which we bought in a 4" pot several years ago at only 5" tall.  It has grown to about 3' now and we had to move it as where it was growing on the north quarry hill was becoming too crowded.  I love the texture and form of this tree and hope it survives the move.

This morning we decided to move several trees out to the 'Adrian Walk' too.  It was so windy out all day today with gusts over 30mph, so probably not the best weather to be transplanting trees.  I don't know how many times Carl's hat blew off (he doesn't have a nifty chin strap like mine, ha) and we both have enough sand in our eyes to last us a few days.  

Before we could move the trees, we had to pull out two more white pines from the back eight.  I dislike doing this intensely, but the trees are so close together they are ruining each other.  Soon the only greenery on the trees would be on the tops as pine dislikes shade.  We pulled these two trees out just before noon today.
Two more 25' tall white pine on the brush pile.
Hard to tell from this picture, but the pines we pulled out are in the middle of the shot, right behind the ball-shaped yellow cedar shrub.  We planted an Austrian pine 'Oregon Green' and a Colorado blue spruce,  'Iseli Fastigiata' in the same area.  We're trying to incorporate some textural interest for the Adrian Walk.  In this picture the pines are still standing.

The destruction didn't end there, though...we still have three Ironwood trees to plant from D&D Nursery that we bought two weeks ago and the Amelanchier 'Autumn Brilliance' aka as serviceberry to plant.  We've had an Euonymus alata, commonly called 'Burning Bush' planted in the small kidney-shaped island bed near the quarry for years.  This year it was looking very tired and tatty and hadn't properly leafed out though all the other ones I have in the yard are in full greenery.  So, we decided the burning bush could vamoose and the serviceberry should take it's place.
There it goes...
And, in the burning bush's place--the new Serviceberry clump.  I have high hopes for this tree, the ones I've seen in other people's gardens are very nice.  I still have to find homes for the Ironwoods yet. 

We were home alone most of the day.  Joel came home from work and had to wind the clock at church and then headed back to Green Bay to help his good friend.  Dave was home around 3PM and changed the oil in his car, but then had a slight mishap on his way out of the driveway.  He's not used to parking in Joel's stall which is close to the greenhouse, so when he backed out, his car hit the greenhouse and moved it over a good three feet.  Thank goodness the flats weren't tipped over, and with Dave's help, we got everything set to rights again in there, though I will admit, I was pretty steamed about it at first.  Today was a hard day's work, and I was more tired than I realized which is probably why I over-reacted.  All's well now.
  I'm not sure why, but the annuals seem to be very slow-growing this year.

Today was Dale's 27th birthday, so I made a cake this afternoon when we came in for lunch and also a beef roast in the crockpot because Ann was going to join us for supper.  I wasn't sure if Dale could make it for supper or not, but he did, around 7PM. (Poor guy, he ended up eating twice, lol.)  Before he left, Richard and Emily stopped in for a quick visit too.  It was nice to see them!  Everyone went home by 11PM.

This morning I took a few more photos of some of the flowers which are blooming yet.  I thought I'd end this post with their pretty faces!  

Not sure of the cultivar, but these flowers are very small, around an inch across with multiple branching that reminds me of an orchid.
I have the small daffodils in yellow and white.

Grows late, and tomorrow (ok, today!) is another day.  The forecast calls for rain, so we will be tearing out the carpeting in the living room tomorrow afternoon.  Wish us luck!!



LC said...

You guys don't get bored real often do you! I'm anxious to see the garden updates in 'real time'! I would love one more rock garden at the head of the driveway as it is my favorite kind of gardening now. I hear Leo has primula allioni and Jerry picked one up for me... apparently it can be very fussy and needs scree... I'm going to create a little niche where I'm hoping it will work although I do have concerns... hope the coming storm isn't too major... have a good day... Larry

Karen said...

Yes, boredom is just about the only problem we don't have around here, ha. Our favorite thing about the rocks is that the garden is on multiple levels so we can sit and weed which makes it easier on the knees. :) I have to take lessons from you on rock garden plants; you have a stunning collection already. Now I'm thinking maybe I'll head over to Leo's this morning---he's only 8 miles away from here (so tempting). I, too, hope the storm is rain and nothing else, sounds rather ominous, doesn't it? Karen

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