Saturday, April 21, 2007

We planted trees!

Today was catch-up day in the garden; with the weather being so poor lately, we're about a month behind schedule with outdoor chores. It was beautiful today and we got a lot done - we cut back the ornamental grasses and the butterfly bushes and raked up the whole yard. Then we went shopping for plant material - my favorite part of the day!
I'd been wringing my hands over what to plant in this spot for well over a year. There was a spirea bush that needed to be replaced as it had grown woody and wasn't blooming well anymore. I had a list of at least ten possibilites, but the nursery didn't have any of my well-selected choices, but then I saw this tree and fell in love. It's a Golden Larch (Pseudolarix amabilis) - not a native, but it will be like having a little piece of the Adirondacks here at home. It's not a real Larch, but is supposed to be suited to heat and humidity; we'll see. Larches are unique because they're the only deciduous conifers - yes - they drop their leaves in fall, but not until they turn a lovely golden color. I love the lacy look of the foliage. I planted a few cotoneasters beneath it.
I finally found a place for the Cranberrybush Viburnum (Viburnum trilobum) I've been wanting. There was a Sandy Cherry in this spot, but it was very damaged in the February ice storm so we yanked it out. Viburnums are my most favorite shrubs, and this will fit in nicely with the other varities we have planted in the border along our property line. It will get pretty white flowers followed by yellow fruits that turn red like cranberries. They are beautiful when covered with snow and are edible. I even have a recipe for jelly, if the birds leave any behind.

I also got a Sourgum/Black Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica) that Wayne from Niches recommended to me a while back. We put it in a low spot in the back lawn where hopefully it will find enough moisture to flourish. Sourgums are known for their brilliant autumn color, plus they get purple fruits that the birds like (check out the list on Wikipedia). They're one of our most beautiful native trees, I think. It doesn't look like much now, but in a few years it will be big enough that a bird can land in it without toppling it over! In the background you can see our neighbor's red barn and one of the many American Hollies we have along the property line. They are the only evergreens we have here. I know we need to plant some others, but they are very few that I really like, besides hollies.

Buddy spent the day supervising and enjoying the sunshine. Tomorrow we have to tackle the pond clean-up.

17 comments:

Susan Gets Native said...

We haven't done a thing to the yard yet. Our lawn mower has a bent blade that chops up the sod, and my bro is supposed to come and fix it soon. Sigh. You can't get a yard ready if you can't even find it!
I love all of your choices in trees. Someday, I want a post with pictures of your whole yard. Get up on your roof or something and get us a good view.

KGMom said...

You were engaged in my favorite outdoor task--planting trees. When we moved to our house (almost 30 years ago) I planted trees like crazy--and have no room left. Except for one spot where I lost a japanese maple. I am researching what to plant now, so I will look up each of your links for ideas.
Buddy looks content--he supervises the way my dog does--keeping an eye on everything.

MojoMan said...

I think your black tupelo is a great choice. The birds will love it. Last October I spent a morning watching a huge flock of robins joyously gobbling up the ripe fruits from one of theses gums.

Lynne said...

You guys worked HARD!! I hope your backs are up for another day tomorrow! I love planting new trees. I'll bet your Buddy makes a good boss!

Dr. Know said...

Endeavours after my own heart - planting trees and researching the wildlife which may eventually inhabit them. I truly hope you get to enjoy the fruits of your thoughts and labor, as much of your efforts take 20+ years to realize. Although I planted my share of trees some 20 years ago, most have ended up under the blade of earthmovers. Wish I had the time, love, and opportunity to realize the same in these modern times...

Larry said...

I have a hard time deciding what to plant in my yard.I removed all of my forsythia-they were to big and wild to be planted near my house and they don't bloom as nicely if you prune them too much.

Viburnum is on my list for this year.-You sound a very well organized person.

Jayne said...

Wow, you all were BUSY! Love al the new trees. Such a sense of accomplishment, isn't it? It was beautiful here as well (77 degrees) and today is supposed to be a carbon copy. Yea! Spring is here... again.

Mary said...

Happy Earth Week, Laura. What an enjoyable day you had with Buddy by your side.

Liza Lee Miller said...

Wow! I'm so jealous! I'm going to try to go get some plant material to get in the ground today.

Dave said...

Nyssa sylvatica is one of my favorite tree species. It forms a mid-level understorey in much of our oak woods here, and given a chance, it will become a canopy tree, too. In other words, it does well in everything from full sun to full shade. It can also grow equally well on a dry ridgetop and at the edge of a swamp. Black gums get hollow quickly, so they make great den trees, and they live for hundreds of years. Their fruit is highly sought after by migrating songbirds in the fall, and this is thought to be one reason why the tree colors up so early - to alert migrants to the fruits. Finally, the layered arrangement of the branches on the younger trees, and the blocky patterned bark on the older ones, make it visually appealing in all seasons.

Cathy said...

Can we borrow Buddy? My hubby and I need a good supervisor. We're waay behind on the Spring clean-up. You will love the Black Tupelo. Good advice - a great tree.

Jimmy said...

Welll I got my done. I don't know if to call it agrden or a spider...insect heaven. With 600+ Iris and over 200 tulips plus wildflowers...it is just simple garden.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the trees you planted! I yelled each name out loud and my husband said, "Is that good or bad?" to each one. That's good on each account. Again, next time you go to Longwood, they have mature Larches up behind the cafe. They have many Nyssa in the parking lot. And I love the Van Morrison song about Tupelo honey. ("Your love is like Tupelo honey). Can't wait to see pictures of each of them leafing out. I'm also glad you got to plant your viburnum -- you've been waiting on that one for a while.

Heather
Wayne, PA

Floridacracker said...

Tupelo honey ... best honey of all. Tupelo is also a fine carving wood. It's a great tree.

Buddy looks content.

LauraHinNJ said...

Susan: Forgot to mention my DH cut the lawn yesterday too - he's pooped out after this weekend!

Will work on a pic for you - easier to show certain areas, that way you don't have to look at the weeds and other messes!

KGMom: We've planted mostly shrubs, but through the years the large trees (black locusts) have come down in storms and we've replaced them. We planted a few dogwoods that are mostly doing well now, a red maple, and a japanese maple that doesn't seem to have grown at all in 4+ years. I would love to have more trees, but I'm greedy of the sunlight for my gardens.

Mojoman: I hope it does well - I don't often see them planted in yards.

Lynne: Buddy would like more trees and more shade!

Dr. Know: We have just a little slice of suburbia, but I hope we've made it a little more wildlife friendly. I don't notice much how fast things grow, but my husband seems to think the things we've planted in the last 14 years are growing well.

Larry: I'm not a big fan of forsythia and don't much like yellow in the garden. I try to plant things that have some interest, other than just purely ornamental stuff, so viburnums are wonderful, in my book. They can be a little *wild* if not pruned well, and this cranberry bush viburnum is prone to that especially, but the fruit will be worth it, I think. Whatever you do, don't buy a snowball viburnum, they're pretty, but useless to wildlife!

Jayne: It was so nice to be outdoors this weekend - hope it lasts.

Mary: Mostly he slept!

Liza: Going to a nursery is such fun, I just wish that trees didn't cost so much! I spent half my paycheck on these. ;-(

Dave: I was hesitant to plant one because I so often see them in wet spots, but I read the same as you say, that they can do well in upland conditions. I would love to have the space for a whole grove of them, and oak trees too, but this one will have to suffice. I wonder why sweet gum is so much more often planted; I see so many of them in parks, and wonder if they have wildlife value that compares?

Cathy: Buddy isn't the taskmaster that he once was, but...

He likes a shady spot to nap; I guess his black coat heats up quickly.

Jimmy: Your garden sounds beautiful! I don't have any tulips and just one iris. I really need to plant some early blooming things!

Heather: I'd be happy with nothing but viburnums! I think the next thing I add to that border will be a few mountain laurels and then I need to settle on some sort or groundcover. I planted lots of bearberry one year, but it didn't survive. I would love bunchberry, but have to remind myself that I don't garden in the far north! Love the stuff anyway.

What spring/summer month would you recommend to re-visit Longwood? I'm tempted to go back in late summer and see the meadow in bloom, but I'm sure that I'd miss lots of spectacular things in the meantime.

mon@rch said...

the viburnum is a good choice but be careful that the Viburnum Leaf Beetle isn't in your area! Will take them out in one season!

z said...

GGlad you found the right trees for your needs. Those will be nice when they are seated.
I enjoy your flower blogs.