I have spent the last two months cleaning debris from my mimosa tree off of my front patio, porch and even my entryway. I love the tree in the summer when it is covered in blooms and hummingbirds are flocking to its sweet nectar, but I have to admit that I curse at it a bit the rest of the year. Why anyone would plant such a messy tree right next to the house is way beyond my understanding.
As we discussed last time, this year’s lack of consistent precipitation has put enormous stress on your lawn. But grass isn’t the only plant that suffers - Trees, shrubs and perennials feel the effects of drought too, and can react in a variety of ways.
We've been having a lot of tree conversations lately. My daughter is determined to get several planted this fall, and I would love to add something else to my grove of serviceberry in the front. What we are learning is that autumn is an excellent time to plant many, but not all, trees and shrubs. Knowing which species to plant, when to plant them and how to take care of them can help ensure fall landscaping success.
My daughter moved into a brand new house earlier this summer. Like so many new builds, the landscaping allowance included one sad, lonely tree stuck on the corner and three bushes – her choice from an unimaginative standard list. Bit by bit she’s been adding to the yard, but now it’s time to do some serious tree planting. Before that first shovel breaks the ground though, she has lots to consider.
I took an objective look at my front yard this week and determined it was sadly lacking in fall color. My four yellow mums in pots flanking the doorway just didn’t bring me quite enough joy. (Yes, I admit it – I have been doing a Marie Kondo purge) What I really want are huge bursts of riotous color and texture before a long Midwestern winter with its ice, snow and freezing temperatures sets in.
A friend called the other day so excited because “they’re giving away free native trees at the farmers market downtown.” She’s a novice gardener and is passionate about planting to rejuvenate the earth. An hour later, I heard from her again, only this time the enthusiasm was definitely gone from her voice. “I’m sending you a picture of our trees,” she said, “only I’m not sure they really are trees. I think they gave us sticks in plastic bags.”
A girlfriend and I took a day trip through Jefferson City and then down to Missouri Wildflower Nursery this week. We just happened to hit the weather right – pleasant temperatures, no whipping winds and the bluest sky we’ve seen in ages. What really sang spring to me though, was the profusion of flowering trees in full, and sometimes fragrant, bloom everywhere we went. Seeing all that beauty, you couldn’t help but think, “ Now where could I plant one in my yard?” Which, understandably, leads to the next question, “Which one should I buy?”
It’s November. The daffodil bulbs are all tucked in the ground and ready for a spring showing. The overgrown perennials have been pulled, trimmed and replanted. The iris beds have been cleaned out for weeks. There really aren’t any other chores that have to be done this minute, but the sky is bright blue and the temperature is perfect and the fanatical gardeners of the world absolutely must take advantage of one more day working in the yard (It could be the last perfect day of the year, you know….) And in their need to garden just one more time, they too often reach for a potentially dangerous and deadly tool -- their pruners.