|Fall in Full Swing:|
South Property Line Maples
When I had an unexpected day off from work last Thursday, I used the time to drive up to King to Mitchell's Nursery and Greenhouse. What a great find! I might never buy plants or shrubs from Lowe's again (well, maybe). They had a great selection and the plants and flowers and trees all were in such good shape. And the staff who helped me out were just terrific.
I had gone up there on a mission. While the backyard is really just a 20-foot-wide strip of hard clay and trashy grasses, with a steep slope midway between the house and the rear property line (to get the kitchen addition to proper elevation grade and also provide for drainage), it still deserves some love and attention. It is the most neglected area from the past four years of dedicated landscaping efforts. What I found myself trying to picture there, among other things, was a couple of tall hearty trees (if I live long enough to see them become tall and hearty).
And I am trying to be proactive in the face of the likelihood that a sizable office or mixed-use building will be constructed 21 feet from the back of the house, and this weighs heavily on me. I don't know when that will occur or what it will look like or what I might one day have to look out my kitchen window and see...a sheer wall? a minimalist block of tinted office windows? a variety of apartment balconies? the faux-window openings of a ground-level parking garage? I figured I'd better get started with creating some kind of screen.
I came home from Mitchell's with two tall red maples, which should grow relatively quickly once they get themselves established. I had to work past dark that day, but I got them both planted in holes that I'd already initiated, but which required finishing. The red maples are now planted just in from the rear property line, and I hope I take the right care of them:
The northern tree hole was a bit of a bear: not only was the hard-packed clay a back-breaker, but I also found that I was digging into the remnants of a buried wall. I busted it up as well as I could and discovered quite a collection of buried oyster and clam shells.
I also apparently knocked into an underground storeroom (look above at the back of that hole) of sunflower seeds from my birdfeeders...likely created when I had the problem with backyard rats!
I am now completely out of my reserve of topsoil that I regularly have delivered:
In addition, I picked up a Cherokee Brave red dogwood and decided that I really liked the image of it one day anchoring the small planting area just outside the side door to the parking lot area. I've never been quite happy with how I've used that lush and sunny area thus far, so we'll see how this helps in getting the right look and feel:
Trees were not my only find at Mitchell's: I also got one more oakleaf hydrangea, for which I'd been saving a corner spot right outside the side kitchen door:
And I got four flats of pansies and have planted them in the open beds both at the front of the house and in the side yard near the new red dogwood:
All mulching is pretty much completed, and all this was finished just hours before the first frost of fall, which occurred in the wee waking hours of Sunday morning: