Surveying the Yard


spruce tree
     After battling ants invading in several areas of the house (diatomaceous earth works great against them), field mice nibbling the cardboard boxes piled in the garage, and carpenter bees with their nest right above the front door, (isn't moving fun?), and four days of cloudy, rainy weather, I finally got our in the yard to find our what is growing there.

     There are a variety of trees.  Some of the trees planted too close to the house now hover over it like menacing giants.  Or maybe I have just forgotten how tall trees are here, after living in the desert where the average tree was 12 feet tall.

     There is a spruce tree, an oak and a holly tree on one side of the house.

oak tree

holly tree

     Much of the yard has not been cared for in a long time.  There has been very little pruning done.  On the other side of the house there is a mixture of bushes all grown into one another that were up to the second story windows:  azaleas, laurels, acubas.  My husband trimmed them to their current height.

mixture of laurel, azalea, and acuba bushes.

     I also discovered lots of false strawberry growing throughout the yard and lawn.  It's become invasive, but since we are renting this place for just a while, I don't think I am going to worry about it.

false strawberry

     Here is a photo of one of the coleus the deer chewed on under the cherry trees in front.   I thought about buying some ferns or periwinkle to put under the trees when I was at the garden center yesterday.  But I resisted since we won't be in this house that long.  I just bought some annuals to brighten the deck area, which will be in my next post.

coleus chewed by deer

     On this Memorial Day, I remember and thank all veterans, including my dad and my husband, for their service to our country

Living Among the Cherries and Maples


cherry trees in front yard
     Hello from zone 7a!  What a change moving from the dry desert brown of zone 9b to the lush green of zone 7a in northern Virginia.  We are surrounded by boxes from the move but we are making progress.

     I haven't looked over the whole yard yet to see exactly what's growing, but we have two huge cherry trees and three Japanese laceleaf maples in the front yard.

Japanese laceleaf maple tree

     I have never had laceleaf maples in a yard before, and they are wide compared to their height with a mushroon/mounding shape.  The leaves are very lacy and delicate-looking.

Japanese laceleaf maple leaves

     The backyard is small with maples, oaks, and other trees and backs up to a heavily wooded area that is a highway for the deer and foxes.  I've forgotten what it's like to live with deer.  My son brought me some coleus to plant under the two cherry trees in front, which were promptly chewed on by the deer.

backyard and woods beyond

     There are red and white azalea bushes on the side and front of the house which are badly in need of pruning.  I'll survey the rest of the yard soon, and start some pruning.  I may grow some vegetables and flowers in pots inside the backyard fence so the deer won't get them.  But first I have to find the rest of my dishes.