“Tree”t Your Landscape

It’s August, people!! I hope you are having a great summer! I can’t complain– we have done a lot of stuff this summer, but my family still has a few things to check off the list before I can officially call it a completely fun-filled summer.

Garden wise, I have been watering like crazy. We had 90+ degree temps (32 Celsius) last week, and everything was withering under the hot, oppressive sun. We still haven’t received any real rain, other than the big thunderstorm that came through my neck of the woods on Saturday.


I have been quite busy with all the stuff that’s happening with our house. As I have mentioned in past posts, we are getting some major remodeling done, and unfortunately, my flower beds have taken a toll. With the house being re-sided, ladders and lots of feet had pretty much trampled down my front garden beds, leaving me very sad. I know, however that this was bound to happen, and I know that next year everything will come back even bigger and stronger!

Well, my beds out back of my garage have taken the biggest hit. So, I quickly moved everything over to the other side of my yard and extended my flower beds once again. I actually like that I have moved everything, and it looks as though my dwarf burning bush is doing much better in its new location than the previous one.

Here it is, my quick emergency bed to save everything from getting trampled!

Here it is, my quick emergency bed to save everything from getting trampled!

I have since done some work on it to make it look prettier, but as usual, I have a long way to go. After surveying my back yard landscape, I knew I needed to add something to it besides just flowers, plants, and shrubs. It was an absolute “tree”t to see that there were a lot of great trees on sale at my local nurseries right now. I have since bought three!

  • To keep your landscape interesting, think about adding some trees to the picture. Keep in mind the size of your yard, and there is a tree out there for every landscape, from postage stamp size to major acreage!
My little yard.

My little yard.

  • When looking for some trees to put in your yard, try to find some different varieties that you don’t often see. For example, if you have a larger yard, get a beautiful tulip tree, or a variety of maple that isn’t as common. For small yards like mine, you can pick from a large list of Japanese maples, or other ornamental or dwarf size trees.
  • Location is key. Make sure wherever you plant your tree, you have given it room to grow. Or, maybe you want some privacy in your yard, so you will plant it to accommodate this.

I am now filling in the rest of my yard with a few trees that get about 8-10ft tall.

What are they you ask?

Japanese Maples — 50% off right now at your local nurseries. I purchased a Crimson Queen (that unfortunately was put into the hot sun during the beginning phases of our home remodel, and the leaves dried up to a crisp). PLEASE DO NOT JUDGE ME. I am trying really hard to bring this little guy back, and it’s working, his regular leaves are coming back. They are reddish/green laceleaves– so intricate and beautiful!

Crimson Queen Laceleaf, a little fried.

Crimson Queen Laceleaf, a little fried.

The other tree I purchased was a Ryusen Weeping Japanese Maple. The tree, as I am told,  is a very rare weeping Japanese Maple that grows much faster compared to most other varieties of this tree. It averages about 10ft. high, but can grow as high as 20ft. It looks like a waterfall when fully grown.

Ryusen Weeping Japanese Maple

Ryusen Weeping Japanese Maple

I really love “weeping” plants and trees. They are so different, yet dramatic and graceful. Another “weeping” specimen I purchased was this Weeping Norway Spruce. They get to about 8 ft. tall. Just perfect for my yard.

Weeping Norway Spruce

Weeping Norway Spruce

There are many different trees to choose from, take your time and research some that are perfect for your part of the world. Adding trees to your flower beds makes your garden more well-rounded and lovely!

A Natural Pause

“It’s a Truffula Seed. It’s the last one of all! You’re in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds. And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs. Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care. Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air. Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack. Then the Lorax and all of his friends may come back.”The Once-ler, from The Lorax

In honor of Earth Day. Every day I am in awe of our amazing planet. Enjoy.

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A Natural Pause

As I had mentioned in my Monday post, Sunday was our inaugural trip to the park. It was a beautiful day and we had so much fun! I just loved how the sun shone through the mighty oak trees in the park on this early spring afternoon, so I couldn’t help myself, I had to take a picture! Enjoy.


A Natural Pause

Yesterday, I took my first walk down by the water through Erie Basin Marina in the Buffalo Harbor. It was so nice to get out on my 2.25 mile walk again! I love these paper birch trees that line the marina. I wish my yard was big enough to plant one! If you have room, consider including one of these excellent specimens to your landscape. Enjoy.

Birch Trees by the Coast Guard Lighthouse in Erie Basin Marina.

Birch Trees by the Coast Guard Lighthouse at Erie Basin Marina.

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Gardening Is In The Books: The Woodbook: The Complete Plates

Ahhhh, February you keep coming and we don’t know what to do with you! At this point I am sounding like a broken record, but we keep getting pounded with more snow and the relentless cold won’t let up. This Thursday the high expected for the day is 8 degrees.

So, I can tell you for a fact that I have my work cut out for me this spring. I have lost both my Emerald Green Arborvitae to winter damage. I would love to show you a picture, but I can’t. They are buried under three feet of snow.

To show you I am not making this up, just look at this comparison:

My backyard in early September 2014. Truly blissful.

My backyard in early September 2014. Truly blissful.

To Saturday, February 7, 2015:

I took this yesterday morning. Can you believe this? That's just accumulation, and not shoveled or piled snow!

I took this yesterday morning. Can you believe this?  That’s just accumulation, and not shoveled or piled snow!

Yes, I am afraid I am going to have a lot more damage from winter and deer this year than I have in the past. Well, a few more lessons will be learned this spring, I will detail them all for you!

So, as you can imagine, I have been laying low. This past week was the worst driving to work week in all the years I have been living in the Buffalo Metro area. So, this weekend has been really subdued for me.

This is my uniform on weekends in bitter cold weather:

I have been on a kick this winter purchasing big, woolly warm boot socks like these from Wigwam.

I have been on a kick this winter purchasing big, woolly warm boot socks like these from Wigwam.

Snuggly socks and blankets leave you wanting to do nothing but read. I have been really stoked lately because a couple of weeks ago, I purchased a book that I have actually been looking for in some way, shape or form for a long time. When I read about it in Outside magazine, I couldn’t help myself. I had to buy it!

Now, this is an encyclopedia of trees that will be loved by everyone from gardeners to woodworkers. I am talking about The Woodbook: The Complete Plates. This is a fantastic undertaking by Romeyn B. Hough in the late 19th century – early 20th century. Hough was a doctor and botanist who between 1888-1913 created a 14 volume series that included actual samples from every tree in North America.


This edition of the book was compiled by Klaus Ulrich Leistikow. It has three different “slices” or cuts each of more than 350 trees neatly laid out. This is a multilingual edition that comes in English, French and German. It can be a little confusing, because some trees are referred to by two or more names sometimes, but it lists the description, habitat, type of wood (hard or soft), and use for each one. Informative, thorough, and wonderfully done. It’s been a joy to look through all the plates and see how beautiful the trees really are. This is, as they say, a truly unparalleled work that keeps blowing my mind!

One of the responsibilities of my day job is that I am a graphics/layout designer (not to be confused with a graphic designer) of sorts, and I am getting a ton of inspiration from looking at this book. I have so much to look at and will continue to enjoy this book while I keep getting snowed in!