Fall is here, and in many ways it seemed like it couldn’t get here fast enough. We had the hottest, driest summer, and it really was hard on the garden. We lost one tree to intense storm damage, another to disease, and an unusual number of branches on the Japanese hollies and azaleas. Just too hot and buggy.
All summer long I was thinking about what kind of tree I would like to replace my Maple tree with. I decided that instead of one large tree, I would plant three Crepe Myrtles instead. They are not as tall, with looser branching structure, so they will be wind tolerant, and faster growing, to mask an unfavorable view, so I think it will be a better choice all round. I had to move a couple of huge bushes in order to get the spacing right between the trees, but that gives me a chance to share some more of my ornamental grass with a neighbor who is re-doing her yard. It is a big change where the new trees stand, but a nice one. I look forward to the beautiful lavender flowers that they will bring in the future.
The area where my Peartree stood is also where we were thinking about repositioning the front walk, so I will add another tree or two to the front when that job is complete. This will provide more direct access up to the front door from the sidewalk, and improve the curb appeal as well. I will increase the area at the base of the front stairs so that a bench and possibly a post lamp will fit. I love to have as many places in the garden as possible to sit and view from different vantage points.
This is also a time to add some more stone into the garden. I love using natural products, and am planning to use the huge, natural slab bluestone from Pennsylvania. It is not far, so it won’t be adding too much to my carbon footprint, which is always a concern to me when choosing something new. It will lend a natural feel, and I will be able to reposition the slabs in the future, if I feel like it. I love that aspect of it, because its always interesting to change things around after a few years.
In addition to addressing both of those areas, I have also resurfaced the driveway. We have an asphalt surface, so every few years I add new coating. It is surprising how quickly it transforms and beautifies — almost looks like new, even though it is 30 years old!
The turf in the yard had become so dry that it hurt your feet to walk on it barefooted. It was sharp and had turned brown and mostly dormant. We have been getting some incredible rain for about ten days, off and on (thanks to Hurricanes Irene and Lee), and the grass has come back green and strong. I was getting worried that I would have to do some major lawn renovating, but it’s looking terrific. Some fall fertilizer and weed control will be all it needs. Now that it is a little cooler, I will trim out the dead branches on the bushes, and of course plant some beautiful Mums and Pansies.
It is great to get back outside. What projects will you tackle in your yard?