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The "What did you do in your Garden today?" thread

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Due to the incredible amount of rain we've received here over the last 2 months, the Japanese Maples have outdone themselves this year in terms of color. Photos of my garden Maples follow:

 

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Even the little Bonsai Maples outdid themselves

 

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Took a few weeks off work and installed an irrigation system - around 50 pop up sprinklers (marked with fence droppers) with perimeter garden beds. The system required 17 irrigation valves, 7 valve boxes, 500 metres of PVC pipe (for the pop ups), 400 metres of main line (50mm poly) with wiring conduits in the same trench. I will be sowing Zoysia Compadre or Zoysia Japonica. The garden beds will be installed with dripper tube and I will do this progressively over the coming years. I hired a labourer and a colleague lent me his bobcat with trencher attachment   - by doing it myself I have saved significantly over subcontracting the work to a commercial outfit.

 

The trees in the burn pile were retrieved from various places around the property all victims of cyclones and termites and not due to the irrigation system! They will be burned during the Wet Season as no permits are issued during the Dry. 

 

We haven't had any rain for several months now so everything is a bit dusty.

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   We had a rough spring this year with late snow and freezes.  Then we had rain, rain, rain, and more rain.  Surprisingly the mosquito population seems to be way down.  I think they must have all drowned.  

    We have what is commonly referred to as a burning bush at the corner of our garage facing east.  It apparently suffered greatly with the weather, and our once magnificent bush is reduced to the shadow of its former self as shown in the photos below.

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    It appears that the main central core of the bush is dead.  The only leaves to emerge were on a few outer branches and even they don't appear very healthy.  My question is, will this plant ever recover or would it be best to just cut it down and replace it?  It doesn't look like cutting out the deadwood and leaving the few healthy branches would help at all.  The base of the bush is a good twelve inch diameter.  Any thoughts here guys?

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Chicago had the same weather as you.  Snowstorms in April are never good for my landscaping. We had several burning bushes as large as yours and they, as well as those of every one of my neighbor's experienced the same die-back.  I cut them back to viable stems last month (about 12" from the ground)  and new growth is coming up from the rootstock.  If you are willing to wait five years, try cutting it back.  If you want it to look good sooner, replace it.  On the other hand, that ridiculous weather has been great for growing bumper crops of weeds.

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Last winter was hard on plants even down here in Missouri. Our apples, pears, and cherries barely flowered, though we didn't experience much outright kill. We, too, had absurd rainfall through spring that raised a hellish crop of weeds. Best blueberry and raspberry season ever, though. 

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Last years draught has been a pain. I lost a pear and nearly an apple tree. Fortunately we have rain pooring down from time to time, but not enough to replenish the loss from last year. Besides being swamped isn't the best way to get the ground level rising  again.

 

Quite a lot of dead trees outside along roads and byways. We had an abundance of fruit trees flowering. If we get enough rain it will be a good year, else more losses

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We had our garden redone last year.

The waterbill showed an impressive water usage :)

Hope this year slightly more rain will fall (aand more evenly spread: rain tends to come in large showers, and then weeks nothing at all. Not quite typical dutch weather )

Jan

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Euonymus alatus, known variously as winged spindle, winged euonymus or burning bush

On 7/12/2019 at 4:33 PM, BETAQDAVE said:

It appears that the main central core of the bush is dead.  The only leaves to emerge were on a few outer branches and even they don't appear very healthy.  My question is, will this plant ever recover or would it be best to just cut it down and replace it?  It doesn't look like cutting out the deadwood and leaving the few healthy branches would help at all.  The base of the bush is a good twelve inch diameter.  Any thoughts here guys?

Snoeien. (Dutch)

Bij deze heester beperkt zich het snoeien tot het weghalen van het aanwezige dode hout, het wegnemen van verkeerd geplaatste takken. Beschadigde of afgeknapte takken snoei je weg tot op een zijtak eronder (als die aanwezig is). Eventuele verjongings snoei: Knip de oudste takken laag bij de grond weg.

 

Pruning. (English)

With this shrub, pruning is limited to the removal of the dead wood present, the removal of incorrectly placed branches. Damaged or cut branches should be pruned to a side branch underneath (if present). Possible rejuvenation pruning: Cut the oldest branches low to the ground.

 

Maybe try to remove all the dead wood.
And pruning the good branches into shape.
And then hope that the plant comes through.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

       We seem to have had an eventful time here this week.  One school had to be evacuated due to a maintenance worker mixing the wrong chemicals for cleaning.  A private jet had to make an unscheduled landing on one wheel.  There were a couple of fatal traffic accidents and numerous other bad news incidents. The weather hasn’t been very pleasant either, with temperatures in the 90’s and oppressive humidity to go with it.  

    Then to make matters worse, at 7:40 AM Friday, Madison Gas & Electric had an explosion that sent a fireball 150 in the air and a fire at their main power center downtown.  Then a short time later they had another fire at the UW Campus substation.  Between the two of them over 11,000 people lost power for most of the day.  The Kohl center and several other public buildings had to open up as cooling shelters for the people that lost their air conditioning.  Most of the city, county, and state government offices had to close down as their computer systems went down and the buildings don’t even have opening windows.

    We have also had several days of severe thunderstorms rolling through with heavy rains. (5 1/3” since Thursday) On Saturday afternoon while I was cutting back our damaged burning bush, a brief but powerful thunderstorm rolled in that had some hail and heavy winds.  While I was wheeling into my office a big gust shook the house and snapped the base this large 60 foot double trunk-ed box elder tree that sat right next to the deck on the back of our house.

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     Luckily I’ve had it trimmed back several times previously to hopefully control the direction of its’ fall away from the house if it were to come down in a storm.  For once planning ahead paid off, as it fell neatly parallel to the house and didn’t even bring down the rock retaining wall along the deck.  Apparently a portion of the tree came down on the street behind our house and partially blocked it to traffic.

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     The city maintenance department was quickly dispatched by the police that came upon it right after it came down to cut up the limbs.  From our vantage point we weren’t even aware of the problem until the crew came up to the deck to tell us what they were doing.

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    We have another box elder tree along the street that was also damaged by the fall of tree by the house as you can see here.

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    Although the remaining trunk portion of our tree that came down is still standing, it’s probably going to have to be removed also.  So, all things considered it looks like another grand or so will soon be vacating our pocketbook to clean everything up. 

    The tremendous amount of shade that we have enjoyed from this tree will be greatly missed.  However, the lawn will appreciate the extra sunshine and may even sprout some grass.  The deck that has had a lot of problems with mold and mildew since it always seemed to be damp, may finally be able to completely dry out.

    The storms have been wreaking havoc throughout the local area lately and consequently the tree trimmers are swamped with work.  Finding anyone to do the work may take some time.  For now modeling, once again, gets put on the back burner as I try to get this taken care of.   All things considered though, things could have been worse for us.

     While the loss of our tree is somewhat of a hardship for us, I can’t help feeling bad for the three robin nests that went down with it.  Right after the tree went down, I noticed the adult Robins with their mouths full of food for the young ones flying frantically around looking for their families.  As their young ones were too young to fly yet, I think they may all have met with a tragic end.  While I realize that it’s just a part of nature, with my natural affinity for birds, I can’t help but feel sympathy for them.

Edited by BETAQDAVE
typo

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On 7/23/2019 at 10:52 AM, BETAQDAVE said:

So, all things considered it looks like another grand or so will soon be vacating our pocketbook to clean everything up. 

Oops, Looks like my guess on the cost was a bit too low.  Got three bids, ranging from $2500 to $3700!!!  Man, the moths will be flying from my wallet now.

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Dave,

Being a vampire when it comes to downed trees,  my first impulse is to check if it is useful for ship modeling.

Box Elder is Acer negundo .  Any Acer species is useful.  This particular species is a soft Maple type - about half as hard as Hard Maple.

Both soft and hard Maple is available seasoned from hardwood vendors, so saving your trunks is not an imparetive.

If harvesting lumber on the hoof is part of how you practice this, this wood would be worth the effort.  But it is physically arduous and 

needs its own specialized tools and dedicated storage space and time.

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Dave.

Check with some of the people who make and sell firewood in your area.   The tree people will basicaly double-dip by charging you to clean it up and then sell the wood.

 

As for insurance, did you tell them the birds' home was destroyed..:huh:  Well it was just an idea... 

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    Well, the downed portion of our huge twin stemmed Box Elder tree is no more than a memory as you can see here.  I thought of having the stump ground down, but to save another $300, I decided that it looks fine the way it is.

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    The still standing stem of that tree shown below remains until I decide to have it pruned back for $250 or have it taken down for $950.

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    Pruning is much cheaper at this point but I harbor some doubts as to its viability as there are still some signs of rot at the base of the tree.  It does provide a little shade yet, but its proximity to our house and deck still leaves me somewhat apprehensive.

    The smaller Box Elder by the road still needs some pruning to shorten the lean of the tree and have the damaged branch removed, but I feel that for only $250 it would be money well spent since it does provide some shade and noise filter from the road traffic behind our house.

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    However, to top everything else off, my neighbor advised me to have an 80 foot White Pine near my side yard lot line checked out as it had been struck by lightning many years ago.  That tree was inspected and was found to have about a 20 foot high portion of the base that had the bark blasted off.  The tree seems healthy above and has been trying to heal itself by trying to seal it off, but appears to be losing its battle with the decay.  The height of the tree is such that should it go down, it could easily reach our house.

      I was advised to at least have the top 20 feet of the tree removed and thus keep it out of reach of our house which would run another $750.  Seems like a lot but compared to removing the entire tree at $2600 it would be much less and yet still provide some security to the house in the future when it will eventually come down.

    Man alive!  While on the one hand it’s very desirable to have trees, on the other it can also be extremely expensive to have them maintained or removed. (Especially if they fall on your house!)

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Indeed. The more plants and trees grow in the garden. The greater the maintenance costs are.

 

No large trees near our house, only in the back of the garden. And I do the maintenance myself IMG_20190701_122739.thumb.jpg.3c59d1a06e6e58ad4d0f933666335b8a.jpg

 

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Nice patrick, the garden. The garage is a typical European one, if parked in it, you need to squeeze yourself out of the car, and take care not to scratch the door

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    The tree removal crew did inform me that there were indeed three Robin nests that came down with the big Box Elder tree.  They also found ten little ones that had not made it, dead among the debris. Unfortunately, their parents didn't have insurance on their homes so no compensation is due them. 

    On a happier note, we still have several families of birds on our property.  One pair of Robins, raising three little ones, is still frantically trying to keep up with their appetites on the front of our house.

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    In the front garden we have a family of wrens that have taken up residence in a rather shoddy old bird house, that has seen much better days. Junior is checking out the slum lord as he is getting a little too close.

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    Here is a short video of me trying to get close enough to determine just how many residents I am housing.

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Dave,

 

I have been planning to set out a couple of Birdhouses next spring but have been concerned about our large resident squirrel population.  Do squirrels bother your wrens.  The squirrels will empty a good sized bird feeder in an afternoon.

 

Roger

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On 8/2/2019 at 1:56 PM, cog said:

Nice patrick, the garden. The garage is a typical European one, if parked in it, you need to squeeze yourself out of the car, and take care not to scratch the door

Thanks for the garden.

The Garage is indeed not a ballroom. But with enough space to get out of the cars
Mrs. backer's car is on the left.  And, indeed, she has to be a little careful. She has this car now about 14 years (without scratching  :Whew:;))

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When I look at it ... impressive, I would have damaged my door multiple times in all those years.

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I think he has a cheat installed, Carl. Look at the 1st picture, small plaque on wall on left of car. Looks like foam or sheetrock impact absorber to protect the door edge.  Nice trick, Patrick.   . 

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8 hours ago, Jack12477 said:

I think he has a cheat installed, Carl. Look at the 1st picture, small plaque on wall on left of car. Looks like foam or sheetrock impact absorber to protect the door edge.  Nice trick, Patrick.   . 

very well seen;)

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Posted (edited)

Wind damage time to replace the fence panels and adapt the decking now that the dog is a little more grown up

 

one new panel cut down so that i dont have to get the old posts out below  level

 

new panels will be lifted later to fit gravel boards

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Edited by Kevin

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