Time Spent on the Land

I've been spending a lot of time dreaming about what is to come for our family, our new house, and the gardens. It's easy to come up with ideas but always much more challenging to implement them. I've designed a potential house plan and I know how we would site it on the property. There is still a lot of planning that needs done before we can actually start building. I'm thankful for the opportunity to dream about what we could do there and each time I visit the land I feel a sense of peace, like this is exactly where we are supposed to be. Walking Trails I visited the land a few days ago to fix the driveway a little better. After that I walked the land. Just in the open spaces. One idea I have had is to install a walking trail around the property so I…

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2016 April Garden Gardening Update

If you're a gardener (and if you're reading this you probably are!) spring time excites you like no other season. April is a great month to get in the garden and get some work done but always remember to take a few moments to appreciate what's growing! Here's a quick rundown of a little of what is growing in my April garden in Tennessee. The Yoshino Cherry trees were spectacular this year! We had a storm this week that blew all the petals everywhere and it appeared like someone had a wedding in our backyard. The flowers only last a little while but they were amazing while they painted our yard in color. My red buckeye tree is just beginning blooming. This native plant is a hummingbird magnet and it's coming out just in time for the little birds to enjoy. My hops vine ('Cascade') is coming back nicely. It's…

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Still Standing -My Bradford Pear Tree

For years now I have complained about our Bradford Pear Trees. In my mind they are one of the most problematic trees ever planted in the landscape. I despise Bradford Pear trees. There are so many reasons why Bradford pear trees are terrible for planting that I constantly wonder WHY were these things ever released to the public for purchase. I removed one of our Bradford pear trees a couple years ago but still have one remaining. This particular one seems to want to taunt me by standing tall against all manner of weather. In reality it really isn't some sort of super mutant Bradford pear tree. It's just in a lucky location where the wind it receives isn't usually as severe as other spots. My kids love this tree so until I have some damage that necessitates its removal I couldn't remove it without disappointing 3 out of 4…

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Splitting Pears (Evidence of Why Bradford Pear Trees Are Junk Trees That Should Not Be Planted)

It's taken a few years before my premonitions came to fruition. It's not that I wanted it to happen I just expected it.  It was inevitable and couldn't be avoided.  The 'Bradford' Pear tree in my front yard split. No storm brought damaging high winds that would wreak havoc among many species of trees. There were no diseases making the tree weak. It was the structure of the tree itself. It was genetically predisposed to split eventually.  Trees like this should not be planted in the landscape yet the builder of our neighborhood put two in every yard.  It's a poor choice to plant but economical for someone wanting a cheap tree that looks impressive for a few years.   Bradford pears look impressive in the spring when their flowers cover the tree.  There isn't a single square inch of canopy uncovered by blossoms. Of course that does lead to…

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Garden Shed Plant Propagation Update

This year was the first year I've been able to house my cuttings in the garden shed. It's been great so far. There's no heat but the plants have been protected from the coldest of the winter lows. Essentially I've moved them 1-2 heat zones south without having to leave my yard. Here's a look at the garden shed plants:Several hydrangeas are sending up new foliage. Hydrangeas are so easy to root - a great beginning propagator plant.The Japanese maples that were grown from seed overwintered very well. I'll keep them inside the shed until I'm sure they can safely survive outside. I'm concerned about late winter and spring frosts.This lilac cutting was either an offshoot of another plant or a cutting. I can't remember which I took the picture of but either way they are all doing fine right now. Lilac suckers can be removed from the mother plant to…

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Why You Shouldn’t Plant a Bradford Pear Tree But Some People Do Anyway

The Bradford Pear tree (Pyrus calleryana). Sure it looks nice but it's one tree that people should stay away from planting in their yard. At first glance you might wonder "why shouldn't I plant them?" They have a great shape, they grow fast, and they flower profusely in the spring. Unfortunately for the homeowners who plant the Bradford pear all is not as it seems. There are several reasons to avoid them. What is wrong with a Bradford Pear Tree? These trees are extremely over planted. This may just be my own personal opinion but when a plant is planted everywhere I like to avoid it. In our neighborhood the builder deposited 2 Bradford pear trees in each front yard. Everywhere you go you see these pear trees planted and not just by people. The birds help to deposit the seeds in various places and you end up with Bradford…

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