Tag Archives: Spring

Like Father, Like Son

Twenty years ago, our first spring in our new-to-us home, Donny ordered some trees from the  Arbor Day Foundation. I don’t recall how he heard of it, but as new property owners, we  got a lot of junk mail and catalogs.

These days it’s all on-line; you simply put in your zip code so they determine your hardiness zone, and select from different packages: firs, flowering, Autumn classics, to name a few. And, soon, providing it is an appropriate time of year to plant them, 10 free trees will arrive in your mailbox when you become a member of their foundation.

If you are now wondering how big a postal box you need, worry not, these are tiny saplings. We still laugh about our mailbox trees. In fact, I think he may have done this for a few springs as he actually took a strip of land from the previous owner’s defunct garden and made it into a nursery area. When the trees got bigger, and my interest in expanding Little Garden into Big took over the space, he planted them out in the yard.

As we sat out enjoying a bonfire last weekend, we recounted which of the trees in our yard were from this fledgling attempt at landscaping and I was amazed at what had survived and how large they now are. In fact, he just recently moved an unknown variety –  what we believe is a pear – in front of my daffodil section, next to a large pine that also came via post.

So, while visiting my father-in-law this afternoon, we got talking about some trees he has had to take down in his yard and one he fears will need to come down soon, pointing out a very large maple with a girth of at least 10′ in diameter.

Doubting the answer, I asked him if he had put the tree in originally only to be stunned to find that every tree in their yard, including some in the yards of neighbors had been picked up in much the same fashion through a local extension some 50 years ago. He went on to show my where he had had a nursery bed to grow saplings that were about a foot tall until he could plant them out.

I was fascinated to hear this story as Donny had never told me and I am certain he never told his father he did the same thing. Apples surely don’t fall far from their trees.

Happy Father’s Day!






Burn Notice

As mentioned many times this past season, Cincinnati and neighboring areas are suffering a drought – with little sign of abating soon. Falls are typically dry for this area but we haven’t seen more than a couple days of rain since July. While this has produced a nice Fall, weather-wise, yards look horrible, leaves were never quite as beautiful as some years, and the ground is too hard to plant perrennials or bulbs.  So, with those jobs not possible, we really did find the time to do clean up instead of adding another 100 or so daffodils to the Way Back.

With all the clean up, the compost bin and additional hidden piles are full and three large debris piles are resting in Big Garden. The fire pit is also full. While, in 17 years, we have never yet run out of firewood, we are now going into the stockpiling phase and that is not good. When we moved here, the former owner left us two huge piles out in the open – small cars could have rested below the clippings without notice. I can’t bear to see us headed back in that direction!

But, one thing is fairly clear, this Fall is probably not one to enjoy sitting around a fire ring roasting marshmallows and that is a shame! We miss the family time and we will miss the opportunity to invite friends to join us. Not to mention the new-to-us picnic table I stained a lovely shade of purple to use for fire-side entertaining… Guess I will be showing it off in the Spring.

Nov 3 – What’s Next

Well, as suspected, I have not been a good fall clean up gardener… I guess this is just not a realistic goal while I have two boys playing multiple sports – each weekend had the minimum of two soccer games and a football game, if not multiples of each for the both of them. There were several weekends with 5-6 games and on those occasions, the games were not local.
So, the cornstalks that did not grace the front door, are still in their square although not really standing. Tomato cages, bean teepees, watering vessels DO still need to be put away but the sunflower heads will remain – the birds can surely enjoy the seeds for some time to come.
And, guess what – I am not inspired to do any of these things although my husband has been very good at emptying the remaining pots and dumping pumpkins left behind from my Halloween display. He probably knows I am already into “holiday” mode – planning Thanksgiving and then hitting Christmas with full stride. He was pruing boxwood and the berries from our crepe myrtle boxwtoday and all I could focus on was how the box had been pruned too soon to keep for an advent wreath, but the berries would make a great addition. Since Big Garden is also a cutting garden, I do enjoy bringing in flowers and then learned to “branch out” to other areas of my yard for inspiration.
I will also be seeking inspiration for next spring – can’t wait for spring already!