The past two weeks have been full of nice weather, and we’ve been taking full advantage of it outside working hard to get our gardens into shape for this year.  In addition to the time and effort that’s required EVERY Spring when you have gardens like we do, we also are dealing with an entire year of neglect.

This week we had a professional landscaper in to thin out and prune our five Bradford Pear trees.  These trees are 30 or 40 feet tall now.  I just adore them and the way they look like they were planted 21 years ago knowing they’d someday line Bear’s yard and fence line.

(Eeek – see how naked they look in the last photo?)

We also had the tree doctor take care of my most favorite tree – my crab apple in the front yard.  My hubby has been warning me that he felt it needed to come down.  I completely denied this, of course.  This tree was what first caused me to fall in love with this house almost 12 years ago when I bought it. (Wait til you see this tree in full bloom!)   The tree doctor confirmed that she is definitely a geriatric tree, but hopefully he was able to buy her some more time with us.  They all look so naked now, but I know it was for their own good, and hopefully it will give us many more years of keeping them and enjoying their magnificence.

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(beautiful buds on my crab apple even though she got hacked this week!)

The landscaper also did a great job at removing five out-of-control Knockout Roses, one climber rose, another old semi-alive part of a tree and an ugly bush that was nastily shooting up roots all over the bed it was in.   We had him transplant a giant hydrangea, backfill a bed full of  holes caused by something furry that moved into the bed this past winter (I’m thinking ground hogs by the size of the holes), and edge all the beds (over 300 feet of edging).  It sure feels good to have all that done.

We have eight yards of triple ground dark brown mulch in our driveway at the moment (and I know we’re going to need even more).  Crazily, we both enjoy putting the mulch down.  I have about 1/4 of the flower beds cleaned up and pruned so far, so we have that part done.   Hopefully in the next week I’ll be able to finish all of that, rearrange the perennials that need rearranging, and we’ll be able to put all the mulch down.   The side of the house that has been done looks really nice.


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Despite some sunburn, sore muscles, ant bites, and big ugly cuts and bruises on the back of one leg from falling out of the vegetable garden today (I’ll just leave you to picture that graceful move in your own mind), there really isn’t much that I love more than gardening.  Things are changing seemingly overnight every day at this point.  Here are some photo’s of this week’s garden splendor that make it all worth it to me.

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Written by Jennifer Cartledge