Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cherry Tree Attended To

First off, let me note that I'm listening to the American Idols songs I've purchased so far from this season.  Crystal Bowersox rocks the house, and the studio versions are totally worth the purchase.  Okay, on to gardening.

After leaving it nestled in its box in the garage for a few days until the pouring rain passed, this evening after work I planted the cherry in its new home, off the southeast corner of the house.

But first, check out the new growth the raspberries are putting forth:

Raspberry Growth

Now, back to the tree. You may recall that I posted previously on the fact that I stood right next to the box in the garage without paying it any mind. Here's the visual:

Tree in a Box

Yes, this box is as tall as me. Okay, now let's get everything loaded into the wheelbarrow and haul it up the hill around the side of the house and to the designated planting spot...

But wait - first a picture of the daffodils that finally decided to bloom:


Okay, back to the wheelbarrow:

Tools of the Tree

I've got the organic garden soil, the shovel, kneeling pad and of course the tree. Again heeding the information I absorbed all winter, I dug the hole both deep and wide, to give the little roots plenty of loose soil in which to spread themselves. Once more, this shovel does a great job of slicing through the lawn:

Digging a Hole

After lots of digging, prying out rocks, dumping and mounding dirt and so on, I proudly present - the tree!

It's a Tree
The Tree Neighborhood

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Unnoticed Arrival of the Cherry Tree

"Why is the door open?" This is the question Julie posed as we pulled up the street to our house last evening. I tore myself away from the Sookie Stackhouse novel on my iPhone to look up and see that the front door was closed. It's also still proudly bearing the VIP ENTRANCE sign we posted for the Oscar Party, but that's beside the point.

More to Julie's point was that the garage door on her side was indeed open. It has a motion sensor, and there was a leaf dangling from a cobweb that had caused the door to reverse just before it had touched down in the morning. We hadn't noticed, as once we saw the door moving down we had driven off to begin the work week. Our bad.

After we pulled into the garage, I hopped out, captured the leaf and associated spider silk, and returned them to the great outdoors, where they belong. Then I went in to start dinner while Julie went back out to pick up the laundry (an occasional treat - the wash, dry and fold place).

"Is that the cherry tree in the garage?" This is the question Julie posed as she came up the stairs bearing a bag of neatly folded laundry.

"Tree? What tree? Where?"

She replied that it was in the middle of the garage. The only out of the ordinary thing I had seen was the box with the dead steering pump, but that was way too small to be mistaken for a freakin' tree, plus it was against the side wall, not in the middle.

So I tore myself away from the Soyrizo, beans and rice as well as from the gardening podcast I had playing on the kitchen mini speakers, to go down to the garage and investigate.


There, between the two garage doors and directly next to the motion sensor was a six foot tall, three-sided narrow box clearly marked LIVE PLANT. How I had stood next to it and then walked right on by, I have no idea.

Of course, it was pitch dark by then, so planting was not on the dinner menu. And today it's raining. I guess this evening I'll be breaking out the raincoat, rainpants and totally awesome neoprene and rubber gardening boots with the dragonflies printed all over them so I can get that tree settled into its new home.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Raspberry Planting

I'm sure you'll be relieved to learn that I got the little raspberry twigs planted snugly into their new home, hopefully without any lasting trauma to them (or to myself).

The night they arrived I had nothing in which to plant them, other than the lawn.  I thought they'd need something more than that after their journey from Territorial Seeds.  The next night was bowling night, so they had to stay in their temporary cardboard crib for another day.  Then Thursday after work Julie and I stopped by Lowe's on the way home (carpooling due to Mini issues) and picked up some topsoil/compost mix.  I wanted to go to Russell's Garden Center in Wayland, but with all the rain we had last weekend and their close proximity to the Sudbury River, we couldn't get to them.  Had I been by myself I probably would have persevered and gone the REALLY long way to get there, but when carpooling with Julie, the shortest route and time spent is generally the best.  This is particularly true when it involves yard and garden themed events.

Four very heavy bags later, we finished our drive home and I went to work.

I brought out the raspberry shipping box from the kitchen, then emerged from the garage with a pair of gloves and assorted gardening tools, and set them down on the field of battle:

The Tools

Next, time to unpack the plants:
The Bundle The Twigs

Hard to believe these are going to turn into a thriving raspberry patch, eh?  Now came the sweaty portion of the evening - digging the holes.  I used the straight edge of the shovel to cut into the turf and then to undercut it so I could yank it out in chunks.  I did take the time to knock back some of the dirt and as many worms as I could spot, so they could continue their good deeds for the soil.  Then the grass chunks went into the purple bucket (since the wheelbarrow was full of the Lowe's dirt) for later transport to the back of the house.  I think I got better as I went along, and the second through fifth plantings seemed to end up with larger holes and bigger mounds.  But I'm sure they'll all do just fine. Here you can see the first one in the ground, with the second one underway, then the second one all done:

One Down, Four to Go Raspberry Two

I like this shovel, as the top of the blade has two little platforms on which I can jump/stand to push the blade into the ground.  I would have been in serious trouble if I'd had to rely on my shoulder muscles rather than throwing my formidable weight into it.

Fast forward to an hour later:
The Blurry Row Focus on One Planted, View from Living Room

Okay, that last one's from the next morning.  Since I started this after work and after the side trip to the big box store, it was getting dark by the time I packed up to go back inside.  Thank goodness for the clocks having jumped ahead the previous weekend, or I would have been doing this by the glow of the solar driveway lights!

Of course, once the plants were in the ground I still had to haul the turf clumps around to the back.  My, my, but those things are heavy!  I had to use the purple bucket to gather them in sets and dump them into the wheelbarrow, and then I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get the wheelbarrow up the hill on the side of the house.  But I persevered, and soon was able to unceremoniously dump the clumps around back to dry out.  In a couple of days I'll toss them into the woods.

Yes, I know I still need to add a support system for them.  However, I don't expect them to shoot up two feet before next weekend, so just back the hell off.

Julie was kind enough to take on making dinner and cleaning the litter box while I was out in the yard.  Good thing, because by the time I finished I would have settled for a handful of granola and the litter box would have been ignored.

SO - the landscaping and gardening makeover has begun.  Although Territorial Seeds didn't give me any heads up about the raspberries, I did get an email on Friday that another package of live plant(s) had shipped.  No indication of what.  I checked the website, and since the asparagus crowns don't ship until mid-April, it must be the cherry tree.  I have two bags of the Stuff from Lowe's left, so that should do nicely.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Orphan Raspberries on the Doorstep

Last evening I arrived home to find five baby raspberry bushes swaddled in plastic and cardboard and left on my doorstep. Okay, so they were from Territorial Seeds, and I ordered them back during the mid-winter inaugural seed catalog fest. But I'm not ready for them yet! I thought I'd have another week or two to get the planting area ready. Now I live in fear that I'll come home to find twenty-five asparagus crowns also waiting. And a little cherry tree. I'm not ready!!!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, March 13, 2010

In the course of trying to figure out what happened with the long post on the down events with associated up events, I encountered another up.  The Blogpress app claimed it posted, but it in fact had not.  The post wasn't even listed in the history in the app, which is usually complete.  While checking the various settings to see if I had screwed something up, I discovered the facebook and twitter connect features.  I set them up, and now I can easily send links to posts to my facebook and twitter accounts.  Yet another plus from a minus.

The biggest plus from a minus today, though: after spending 6.5 hours at the Apple Store or wandering the mall waiting for some procedure or another to be attempted on Julie's MacBook, including a 1 hour and 52 minute call with Apple Support (including a brief conversation with an actual iTunes representative - which is apparently unheard of - I let the Apple Store Genius who was assisting us get on the phone because he was acting like we had a direct line to god), Julie's iTunes is now fully functional once again.

But bottom line - how could the day be all that bad?  I started it off by pre-ordering an iPad, followed up by listening to some of my favorite gardening podcasts.  Can it really get any better than that?

I Guess I'm Over It Now

I just wrote a fairly long post about the various events conspiring to bring me down, followed by a list of the corresponding brighter side to each.

Yeah, the post supposedly went up, but it's gone.

Oh well, no point in wallowing.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone