Tag Archives: trees

Blue and White

My favorite color combination.

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Buds and Anticipation

Sunday Stroll

So many leaves have popped since the last time I had a chance to post a Sunday Stroll, so this is a long one!  While I’ve got a few flowers, there are many more buds yet to open and I’m impatiently awaiting the show they’ll put on in June.

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The bleeding hearts are taking over the partially shaded back garden, even after I pruned them back and picked a bunch of the flowers yesterday.  Believe it or not, this is only their second year in bloom.

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Buds on the blue lace-cap hydrangea in the back garden.  This will be the first of my many hydrangeas to bloom.

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The peony in the front flower garden has a bunch of buds, and I can’t wait to see those big pink blooms.

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Our one and only apple blossom.  I’m surprised that the Jonathan tree got a blossom so soon after we planted it, but I’m happy to report that all six trees are alive.  I don’t expect an apple this year because there’s no other flower to pollinate it.  Unless, of course, a bee makes her way from my parent’s orchard a few minutes away. 

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The mixed baby lettuce is doing well.

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The spinach that overwintered is ready to pick.

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The peas have started to climb up their wire supports.

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One of the heritage red raspberries in our brand new berry patch.

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Some wildflowers in the neighboring hayfield.

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Our two sugar maples that we planted last fall survived the winter and are full of bright green leaves.

To see who else is strolling today, visit the Quiet Country House.

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Blue Skies

Sunday Stroll

Today’s warm weather melted a lot of our snow and gave me some extended time outside.  Out of all the shots I took, these ones of the sky and trees were the best.  I had fun taking pictures from different angles, with the sun behind and in front of me, and standing under and around the trees.

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After taking pictures, it was so nice that I didn’t want to go back inside.  I read a couple of chapters of the book for my class while sitting in the sun.  I look forward to getting outside more often in the coming weeks.

To see who else is strolling today, visit the Quiet Country House.

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Bare Boughs

Sunday Stroll

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To see more Sunday Strolls, visit the Quiet Country House.

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Aftermath

Last night, Tropical Storm Hanna moved through our state.  While we in New England didn’t get hit as hard as our southern neighbors, there was a lot of rain and wind throughout the state.  I did prepare for the storm a little bit by picking all of my tomatoes yesterday morning and putting some water in jugs in the fridge just in case the power went out.  Not huge preparations, but it wasn’t that bad of a storm.  We didn’t end up losing power, which is great, although there are a lot of outages throughout our state right now.

A tree fell on the hay lot in front of our house.  Fortunately, it didn't hit any of the nearby power lines.

A tree fell on the hay lot in front of our house. Fortunately, it didn't hit the nearby power lines.

Many of our sunflowers were blown over.

Many of our sunflowers were blown over.

The cosmos got flattened onto the walkway.

The cosmos got flattened onto the walkway.

The heavy rain also compressed the morning glories, but I think they'll be alright.

The heavy rain also compressed the morning glories, but I think they'll be alright.

both of the new sugar maples are fine.

The good news: both of the new sugar maples are fine.

The white pines on our boundaries, planted two years ago, also had no problems.

The white pines on our boundaries, planted two years ago, also had no problems.

The hydrangeas are still going strong, just with fewer blooms than in July.

The hydrangeas are still going strong, just with fewer blooms than in July.

These yellow mums, a gift from my cousins, weathered the storm just fine thanks to the protection of the breezeway porch.

These yellow mums, a gift from my cousins, weathered the storm just fine thanks to the protection of the breezeway porch.

To see who else is strolling today, visit The Quiet Country House.

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Planting Sugar Maples

Labor Day was the perfect day to plant our two new sugar maples.  We planted two of them last fall, but for some reason they both died.  We speculate that the holes weren’t big enough, the soil was too hard, or we shouldn’t have unwrapped the root ball (although we did for our 30 white pines, and they were all fine), but whatever the reason, we had to get new ones.

My brother Nathaniel helped by lending his truck, mini-excavator, and time on his day off! We picked up the trees, took out the dead ones which had developed no root system, meaning they died shortly after we planted them, and planted the new, bigger trees.  We hope that with these bigger trees, digging bigger holes to loosen up the soil, and taking the advice of the garden center by leaving the wire on the root ball and slashing the burlap, that these trees will make it through the winter and we’ll see leaves next spring. 

Ed and Nathaniel unload the two sugar maples.

Ed and Nathaniel unload the two sugar maples.

Nate digs a hole for the first tree.

Nate digs a hole for the first tree.

We get the first tree in the ground.

We get the first tree in the ground.

A picture of the first tree and our house.

A picture of the first tree and our house.

Nate let's Ed dig the hole for the second tree.

Nate lets Ed dig the hole for the second tree.

Ed digs the second hole.

Ed digs the second hole.

Nate and Ed plant the second tree.

Nate and Ed plant the second tree.

Our new sugar maples!

Our new sugar maples!

Today reminded me of a chapter in Michael Pollan’s Second Nature, which is the wonderful story of Pollan’s gardening adventures in Connecticut and throughout his life.  While many people prefer his more recent books, I’m a big fan of this one because his stories are similar to my own, he’s gardening in my home state, and I can relate to moving to a new place and making your own mark with your gardens.  While Pollan started with an old farm, I have a blank slate, piece of my great-grandparents farm.  This book was a great read to make me think about what kind of gardens I wanted, and I would suggest it to anyone who lives in my area or is new to gardening. 

Regarding planting a tree on his property, Pollan writes:

A great tree changes the look of the landscape, of course and not only from a distance; it shapes space in the third dimension, too.  An old sugar maple–that was the tree I had in mind–sponsors a distinct kind of light and air around itself.  Its shade is dense, but always sweet, I think, and never oppressive.  The space that a maple articulates seems particularly hospitable to people–it’s an intimate, almost domestic space, more imposing.  No matter how large it grows, a maple never drops its tie to the human scale; a few of its boughs invariably reach down to us so that we may climb up into them, if only in our imaginations.  Maples suggest haven.  They always look comfortable next to houses, in summer gathering the cool air close around them and then ushering it toward open windows.

A single great tree can make a kind of garden, an entirely new place on the land, and in my mind I was already visiting the place my maple made, resting in its shade.  I knew it wouldn’t happen overnight, probably not even in my lifetime, but wasn’t that precisely the point? To embark on a project that would outlast me, to plant a tree whose crown would never shade me but my children or, more likely, the children of strangers? Tree planting is always a utopian enterprise, it seems to me, a wager on a future the planter doesn’t necessarily expect to witness…

‘To plant trees,’ Russell Page wrote in his memoir, ‘is to give body and life to one’s dreams of a better world.’

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