Friday, April 24, 2015


Just think of the title of this post spoken in the excited, shrill tone of 'Eva' from 'Wall-E'.

That's how stupidly excited I am about my trees & shrubs being delivered today.  The fact that it's Arbor Day is just a nice touch.  We had some rain last night and more is coming today and tomorrow, so the delivery guys squeaked in and got the plants in the back yard during a dry spell.

The dog was *very* unhappy to be locked in the house during all this excitement and the chickens were not pleased with a huge truck coming into their yard, I just told them it was a preview of coming attractions--just wait until the backhoe gets here and starts digging giant holes in their yard...

...and they are neither allowed to 'help' nor provide Direct Chicken Supervision.  I expected much pained, plaintive bawking.

First the guys unloaded the amendments and lovely, lovely dirt, since there is no dirt in our dirt.

Yay for dirt plants can actually GROW in!

Then came the plants, with some additional bags of compost.  Unfortunately the biggest tree, a huge Showtime crabapple, hadn't made it on to the truck so they said they'll go back, get it and deliver it later today. 

And from the other end of the plant pile:

My absolute favorite of the trees, two Lavender Twist Redbuds.  They have a weeping habit and cool, twisty branches.

Two red twig dogwood shrubs on the right, the plum and pear trees behind.

Two Silverlace vines in front.  One is going along the driveway fence, the other will grow up and over the chicken coop.  To the left is a tiny Ivory Halo dogwood.

American cranberry, one more will be coming soon.

Cherokee Chief Dogwood, Satsuma plum and Bartlet pear trees. Pink Dwarf Flowering Almond shrub.

Three little Alpine Currants.

Snowball viburnum, more pink Dwarf Flowering Almond, pink forsythia, Profusion beautyberry.

Cameo quince, Autumn Magic chokeberries, Brandywine viburnum.  After the pictures we laid down the trees so they wouldn't blow over in the coming storm and get damaged or squish the shrubs.

When all is said and done, here's what will be used and planted:
½ and ½ Plus, 1 Cubic yard
Black Forest Compost, 6 Cubic yards
Bumper Crop Soil, 4 CF
MultiPurpose fertilizer 16-16-16, 5 lbs.
Dr. Earth Starter Fertilizer with probiotics, 4 lbs.

All of that lovely growing medium will be mixed together and used to plant:

10 Trees
1 Cherokee Chief Dogwood
2 Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn
1 Satsuma Plum
1 Bartlet Pear
2 Lavender Twist Redbuds
1 Showtime Crabapple
1 Sugar Tyme Crabapple
1 Northern Red Oak

25 Shrubs
2 Cameo Quince
2 Red Twig Bailey Dogwood
2 Autumn Magic Chokeberry
2 Profusion Beautyberry
1 Pink Forsythia
1 American Cranberry
3 Alpine Currant
1 Austrian Copper Rose
1 Brandywine Viburnum
2 Snowball Viburnum
1 Ivory Halo Dogwood (cornus alba bailhalo)
2 Silverlace Vine (polygonum aubertii)
3 Pink Dwarf Flowering Almond
1 Arrowwood Viburnum
1 Gray Dogwood

Note the complete lack of goddamned junipers.
We also have an existing lilac shrub that someone stupidly planted *right* next to the front yard automated sprinkler controls, our landscaper is going to try and dig it out (without damaging the plumbing) and transplant it to another part of the yard.  I realize it may or may not make it, but heck it's worth a try!

When I selected the plants I spent about two weeks researching what would work in our garden zone, be fairly drought-tolerant, be chicken-safe and provide food for people and animals.  

There are still a few shrubs coming that the garden center didn't have in yet:
2 Summersweet
4 Pink Beauty Potentilla
1 Spanish Sunset rose
2 Huckleberries
2 Diane Witch Hazel
1 American Cranberry
2 Pink Dawn Viburnum
5 English Peacock Butterfly bushes
2 Black Knight Butterfly bushes
2 Bi-Color (first choice) or Royal Red Butterfly bushes
4 'Sunset' flowers, Lewisia Cotyledon perennials
4 Hops plants

Once the truck was gone and the gates closed, we let the chickens out.  After some persuading that the truck was really gone, they came out and inspected the plants, no doubt choosing their next meal.

Zip was especially diligent and there was much staring.

She paced the length of the fence and inspected the things like a 4 star general inspecting the troops.

Criminy, hopefully they met with her approval.

Once all this is in I hope to have a balanced combination of pollinator-attracting flowers, shrubs, trees and fruiting plants.  My pond and raised bed vegetable garden will be added once the trees and shrubs are planted (one step at a time...).  Also a *small* amount of lawn in the front and back yards--I'm not too keen on lawns because of all the water they use, but it'd be nice to have a small amount of grass.

I'm just glad I don't have to dig all these holes by hand.  Huzzah for backhoes!

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