Time to get dirt under the fingernails

There were new blooms to visually consume this weekend and that was cool:

And more to come in the immediate future:

But this weekend was all about getting shit done … in the dirt … with tools … and the bare hands.

Here is a running list of what failed to survive the winter and was subsequently removed:

6 Emerald Green Arborvitae
1 Arborvitae (forgot the cultivar, had white tipped foliage, oh who cares, she is cooked)
1 Variegated Boxwood
1 Green Velvet Boxwood
1 Ilex glabra (Holly) ‘Shamrock’ (with one to go as seen in my foundation planting below):

The cupboard is bare with lots of work to do. Annoying, frustrating and exciting all at the same time.

Oh, there are three more Arborvitae that need to go (for those keeping score at home, we are down ten arborvitae in total):

A lot of death to handle but in my world of crappy conditions you quickly grieve and move on. Truthfully, good riddance to all of the Arborvitaes. I won’t make that same mistake again.

On a more uplifting note, I planted 5 bare root trees that were given away at my local park as a means of tree restoration after Hurricane Sandy. Two Red Oaks, a Pin Oak, A Bald Cypress and a Sweetgum were all added and it will take some nursing to keep them going but I am up for the challenge:

Most of my winter online plant orders are in and after a day or two of them breathing outside of their boxes, they all went in the ground. Most of them replacing their aforementioned fallen brethren.

A Viburnum ‘Brandywine’:

Two Pennisetum ‘Desert Plains’:

An Ilex ‘Berry Poppins’:

Additional plantings included: 3 Andropogon ‘Red October’, 1 Schizachyrium ‘Blue Heaven’, 1 Ilex ‘Mr. Poppins’, 2 Viburnum ‘All That Glitters’ and ‘All That Grows’ and 1 Rhamnus ‘Fine Line’. Good times.

There was additional dead foliage clearing to allow the new growth to come in:  

Exciting times to see the deciduous shrubs starting to really leaf out:

Even had some critters to chase around:

We were all happy to be outside again:

5 thoughts on “Time to get dirt under the fingernails

  1. Stephen Andrew

    I am coming to terms with the fact that my 25 hydrangeas might be dead. Usually they have something going on at this point. Giving them a while longer and hoping they snap into life. Thinking maybe the abrupt end to fall didn’t give them the chance to ease into dormancy.
    You’re better off without the arborvitae, in my opinion. Excited to see what takes their place.

  2. Sharon Gorbacz

    I lost 2 azaleas that had gotten shaded out by ornamental grass last year. Dead dead dead. Came out more easily than I thought they would, apparently previous owner knew nothing about digging a hole 2x as big as the rootball and amending the soil Had a hell of a time cutting through landscape fabric that’s now about 4″ below the earth.

    A forsythia planted on a slope failed to make it through it’s 2nd winter, though I think the last bit of it died in the autumn even before leaves started to fall. Need to find something else to fill in the spot, maybe an evergreen of some sort – I can probably root some boxwood cuttings pretty easily

    New Jersey Tea shrub didn’t make it where I transplanted it into a wildflower bed last summer – even if it did, my husband was instructed to pull anything that looked like a tree in that bed, so it’s been uprooted either way.

  3. Patsy

    My azaleas look bad a little sick, they do have buds its the leaves.
    It is a waiting game. Had hard rain and high wind , the ground was wet from snow and ice
    hope we start to dry out soon.

  4. L. D.

    We were a lot colder this winter here in Iowa than normal. Our frost line went down 42 inches this winter and I see that I have lost a couple of roses. We are just now having daffodil push through so you are ahead of us in your spring. I lose plants and it is better just to move on and put in something new.

  5. Kris Peterson

    I hope your new selections fare well! The combination of the harsh winter weather and deer has got to be a drain on the psyche, as well as the pocketbook. In my area of the left coast, the principal challenges are drought (headed from bad to severe this year) and raccoons. I’m trying to develop a taste for spikey cactus and succulents…

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