So today I left Connor with Joanna and went out to buy a tree.
I've never bought a tree before other than our potted Japanese Maple, i.e. The Symbol Of Our Love, and I'm not sure that it counts because it's only three feet tall. So this was sort of a new experience for me.
Tomorrow we have a crew coming in to strip out our 400 square feet or so (and I wish that was an exaggeration) of English ivy, salal and blackberry. The plants are fifteen years old and I'm so, so tired of fighting with them so I'm excited that someone else is going to do it for me! They're going to dig down and take all the roots out, so hopefully that will be the end of my ivy problem.
But of course we needed something to plant in place of all that ivy, so that's where my tree buying comes in. While I'll be putting in the smaller plants myself (as I get them-- I haven't actually looked for any of the small stuff yet), they're planting the larger things for me. I bought three evergreen huckleberry for our fence line, which gets full shade. Eventually I'll be putting in some ferns, hosta etc. along the fence as well, and hopefully it will be a nice shade garden by the time I'm finished with it.
For the sunny area of the bed I bought a few low-growing conifers, some barberry (which I love for its color even if it is all prickly) and a golden elderberry. And I also bought the tree, which we have decided to name Howard.
What-- don't all of you name your trees? Besides, this tree totally looks like a Howard.
Anyway, Howard is an Emperor 1 Japanese maple and he's about six feet tall right now, though eventually he'll get to twenty feet or so if I don't manage to kill him first. It's a good thing I had respite care, because I'm pretty sure that Connor and Howard would not have been able to ride together inside the van. As it was, getting him inside involved some delicate maneuvering, and I drove about five miles under the speed limit the whole way home as Howard was not tied down inside the van and Death By Tree would probably be a terribly undignified way for me to go.
But I managed to get back to the house without incident, and Howard is now waiting patiently in our side yard for the crew to get here so he can get settled in his new, English-ivy free home. I can't wait! They're mulching and trimming everything too, so the front yard will probably look great once they're done. Other than our lawn, of course, which still looks like the "before" picture in a grass fertilizer advertisement. It's about half weeds, and I'm pretty sure I'm just going to have to start over from scratch on it.
Oh well-- one project at a time, right?
4 weeks ago