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View Diary: Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol. 9.7 (313 comments)

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  •  Sigh... (16+ / 0-)

    Your yard makes me happy to see it, but sad that I can't do anything just yet. We closed on the house in Gothenburg last Monday, though!!

    And yesterday, on the way home from work, I stopped at a nursery to look at trees. The yard has only one tree worth keeping (out of three planted), so the other two are coming out and we're going to plant trees.

    I've been thinking long and hard about trees that will withstand the harsh, central Nebraska weather. I've been thinking how wonderful it will be to have an unmetered water supply. But I've also been thinking of shade from the burning sun, and sustainable food.

    The yard is only 85 feet by 150 feet, so there will be a lot less to play with. Every tree and shrub will count. There's one low spot, and everything is sandy.

    So here's a list of trees I'm thinking about planting. I'm visualizing their specific niches in the yard. I think they each have their own qualities to contribute, while being durable enough to thrive, not just survive.

    Bur oak
    Princeton elm
    Ginkgo (male)
    Various small Japanese maples (existing leftovers)
    Redbud
    4 Sugar Tyme crabapples (to form an espaliered gazebo)
    Cedar of Lebanon, var. stenocoma
    Espaliered apples and pears
    Fan espaliered cherries, peaches, and apricots
    Hedge of wild native plum
    One arbor of grapes
    Purple robe locust

    The one thing I wish I could find room for would be an English walnut or two, but I just can't see room for more than one, unless I give up having the bur oak. It might be worth doing one, though yields will be less than with two.

    Any thoughts?

    "Fast, Cheap, and Good... pick two." - director Jim Jarmusch

    by AnnCetera on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 07:29:55 AM PDT

    •  What an adventure you're on! (11+ / 0-)

      All that espaliering (is that a word?)!  I take it that your new yard has a fence?

      Sounds well thought-out, a nice mix.  Just one evergreen?

      •  Well... (11+ / 0-)

        We don't have a fence yet. But we will! We're budgeting for chain link for the back yard, so Pepper can go charging thru a doggie door to go chase rabbits whenever she wants.

        The neighborhood aesthetics are a little strange, compared with most places I've lived. I don't know if it's an overwhelming Swedish-German tradition, but the majority of houses in town have no foundation plantings. Everything is largely kept tidily clipped and trimmed, with short grass, a handful of trees in a yard (at most), limited shrubs, and very tidy flower beds (which are scarce).

        And there's only one evergreen... because of my own personal bias. I don't like most of them. Cedar of Lebanon is a real exception!

        However, there are a couple of newer, smaller evergreens I'm thinking about for shrubs. (But I want to avoid an overall one-of-each look to the yard.) I'm thinking a gold thread cypress or three would make a strong contrast planted behind a red Japanese maple... perhaps a blue or green low spreader near the red-twigged, green-leaved Japanese maple.

        "Fast, Cheap, and Good... pick two." - director Jim Jarmusch

        by AnnCetera on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 07:52:48 AM PDT

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        •  Oh... (10+ / 0-)

          And I forgot to mention the most obvious thing. I'll be espaliering using 16 foot cattle panels and 8' T posts. It's about as easy as any other method, and easily removed when no longer needed (to become a trellis or series of trellises elsewhere in the yard, or a row of two about 1.5 feet apart to make a 'cage' for tomatoes).

          "Fast, Cheap, and Good... pick two." - director Jim Jarmusch

          by AnnCetera on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 07:55:15 AM PDT

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        •  Yes, I recognize that yard you describe (9+ / 0-)

          Quite a few like that here in Kansas, and lots of Swedish and German heritage too. Very boring but well maintained!
          I'm more of a free spirit.  :)

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 09:11:22 AM PDT

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          •  Same here! (7+ / 0-)

            But ya know, we'll see. I need to at least have a front garden, along the house, for about the first 6-8 feet from the wall. Since the house faces north, and is two stories, the first 3-4 feet will be filled with full-shade plants, and the next 3-4 feet will be filled with part-shade plants.

            The only other place in the yard I'll really be able to plant anything for shade will be under the apple tree, smack dab at the center of the back property line. Everything else is at least half-sun.

            And the Platte River Valley doesn't make it easy. We have an amazing mixture of sand and dust for soil. I'll definitely be lightly dressing the buffalograss seed with topsoil in the front yard, just to assist with germination and to cut down on birds eating the seed.

            And I think I'll be starting tiny buffalograss plugs for lots of the rest of the yard. Heck, the next time I drive up I might even be able to stop by and get at least 6 lbs of the seed in person at Stock Seed Farms; cut out shipping costs, since it's mostly on my way.

            "Fast, Cheap, and Good... pick two." - director Jim Jarmusch

            by AnnCetera on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 03:32:53 PM PDT

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    •  I wish we'd espaliered (8+ / 0-)

      our current pears.  I love it when the full pear tree bears fruit, but it's too much to handle when 10 pears a day ripen.

      A smaller espalier setup would be easier to process, and prettier.

      Although the pear tree suddenly went into white blossomed glory all at once a few days ago, looking impressive.

      Either a heron or raccoon knocked my Joe Pye Weed plant down to the btotom of the pond. It wasn't doing well lately anyway.  It's demoralizing not to be able to grow a plant with "weed" in its name.

      Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

      by 6412093 on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 04:02:53 PM PDT

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