Tuesday, February 26, 2008

New Sheds for Mowers and the First Cherry Blossoms

Skeeter has been very busy in the garden. Not only did she and the Saint have to cut down a huge pine tree in order to build this woodshed/mower shed/potting bench, but she had time to go shopping and snap some pictures of cherry blossoms in Georgia!

We have heard about the endearvor step by step on here; which has been great because Skeeter is a very good writer AND enterprising woman. Just look at the convenient potting shelf/bench she built behind her wood shed. It is in the shade! Very important in the south. She is using it probably right now to pot up some seeds.

And just look at the parkplatz (parking place) for the mower! Anonymous will appreciate this parking place, as we know how much she appreciates her 'baby'. Actually, I really love my lawn mower too. I don't know what it is about power tools you use so much, you just kind of develop a relationship with them after a time.

Skeeter, as we all know, lives in Georgia. Spring comes earlier to Georgia and Florida (where Lola lives) than it does to Tennessee, simply because they are further south. Skeeter has been seeing some lovely pink trees in her area. I had all kinds of ideas such as tulip tree (Magnolia soulangiana), maybe a redbud or cherry or crabapple trees. Skeeter snapped some pictures and sent them to me.

Skeeter thought it might be a crabapple, as did I until I saw the lenticels on the bark of the tree. Lenticels are a spongy area on the stems and roots of plants. They act as pores for the woody plant. Members of the Prunus family, such as cherries, have pronounced lenticels. They are often what makes the tree most attractive to landscapers and the general public in addition to the blooms in early spring. Cherry trees in particular have very pronounced lenticels. If you look closely at the bark of the tree on the last picture on this post you can clearly see the gray lenticels. They are lighter colored than the bark and horizontally laid out all along the bark.

Skeeter, this is definitely some type of cherry tree but it is not the 'Yoshino' cultivar, aka Prunus x yedoensis. I looked this tree up and I can only find it blooming in a white color. There are pink varieties of cherry trees though. You should ask the business what cultivar they had planted if you want to know the specific cultivar. I think it is a beautiful tree and looks very much like redbuds in bloom.

Whenever I think of cherry blossoms in the spring, I think of Washington D.C. According to the National Cherry Blossom Page found at http://www.nps.gov/nama/planyourvisit/cherry-blossom-history.htm, the cherry trees in Washington D.C. were first planted in 1912 in the basin area. The trees were originally a gift of friendship from Japan. The Japanese people consider the exalted cherry blossom to be a "potent symbol equated with evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformations Japanese culture has undergone through the ages." (National Cherry Blossom Page) The website has the whole history of the cherry trees. There is more to them than what I am publishing here. If you want more information visit their webpage. I believe my mother has seen the trees in bloom, as have a few more of my regular commenters. I am sure anyone who has seen them in full bloom will never forget the sight. Now Skeeter has a 'mini' Cherry Blossom view of her own and has allowed us to share it. Thanks!

in the garden....


  1. lola, not sure which post you asked you about dunbar cave area. the lake is still there. along with the visitors center. there was at one time a pool there but that has been filled in.

  2. Very nice Skeeter! Seeing those blossoms, whatever they are, is making me hungry for spring! Another foot of snow for us tonight. Blah :p

  3. My guess on the cherry would be the 'Okame' variety. You can find a picture of it at Greenwood nursery's site (http://www.greenwoodnursery.com/page.cfm/10467)
    It's one of the earliest flowering cherries. Very good looking one too!

    Skeeter nice job on the shed/potting bench! Why don't you have a gardening blog? Or do you and I just don't know it!? :)

  4. Tina,

    Just stopping by to say good morning...you were up and about early this fine gray, rainy day.

    I was noticing that Hill Place has cherries in bloom seemed early to me?

    Are those cherries that are in front of St T hospital? Not sure you drive on Harding Road they look similar to the photo you have posted but I am usually in the car.


  5. Good morning to all

    I don't remember the cherry trees in Washington having that much color and I think the peak of their blooms are in April and yes I have seen then several times but I think only 2 times when in full bloom. Tina when you lived in NC and we drove down all those times (some of them driving Nana and Baba) we always planned to spend the night in the Washington area. Since hubby was in the honor guard at Arlington Cemetery when he was in the Navy we had to go there.

  6. hey dawn with peaches, my intent exactly to let everyone see a taste of spring.

    dave, i told skeeter i thought you would know the variety. at first i thought yoshino but no. thanks! you must really like cherries. it is a beautiful one but doesn't it look like a redbud? not up close.

    hi gail,
    good morning too. i have to get up early because of the teenaged son and three little puppies. when i go back to work i will be hating it and wondering why didn't i sleep later?!

    i am not sure about nashville cherries. i think i do sometimes pass st. t hospital. isn't it on west end? but usually at night. they probably are cherries though blooming this early. i usually think of redbuds as the first early bloomer tree that is noticeable here. but i will have to look closer.

    hey mom, i remembered you said you saw them. i have never really visited d.c. though i would love to. right now the arboretum has a pending funding cut. bad thing. that is what i would like to see. did you know that on the cherry blossom website a batch of 2000 trees that came from Japan had to be destroyed due to infestation of nematodes and other insects? bad relations. but Japan and the U.S. mended the relations and Japan foot the bill for another 3000 to be shipped. amazing, even back then the agriculture dept was doing a job checking plants. wish they had caught the Dutch Elm beetle before it was too late for the Elms. enough for now. nasty, nasty day here. windy and cold and rainy. this after a beautiful day yesterday. gives me a chance to work in the house. i will probably publish my children post thursday or friday. any more pics after that will come later. i need to get my garden of the month in but i am waiting for a new battery for my camera. i hope it gets here soon!

  7. Tina, I believe that just recently the cherry blossom trees in d.c. had to be collared with alum. for about 3 ft up the trunk, bad beaver problem. We ALWAYS hear about this event in some form or another. If you want I can get Nikki with a pic of my prickly pear, or both kids? The only other plant that is left is a pitiful aloe the cat keeps picking on. My pear has CHANGED.

  8. dawn with peaches, thanks for the info on the cherry trees. i did at one time hear of that.

    you can send whatever pic you would like to see on here. i have room for one of each if that suits you better.

    the prickly pear will change in the winter. i am noticing it in mine (the ones which weren't ripped out of the ground by the sleepy driver) and all over town. they turn white and fall over, like they are dead. it is normal. they will come back. i am learning too but as i see stand of them all over i know they will come back as these stands are big. be patient. give it time.

  9. They do look like redbuds. There is a redbud tree that fooled me into thinking it was a cherry when I drove by it the other day! It's surrounded by pavement so it was warmed early this year and has already started flowering.

  10. Noooo, It has long skinny growth atop of it, have to cut them, than replant in the same pot. Guess thats what they do when potted. I'll get Nikki to attempt that (she may not, she knows 'bout the "stingers") I'll get her gloves and if Zack wants too he can. Send them tonight

  11. How ironic, this morning our newspaper had a front page picture of the same trees! I was so excited to finally get to know their true identity, Of course no info on the trees just that spring is popping in GA.. argggg...

    Am glad the Saint and I made a special trip to town to snap the pictures late yesterday evening. Today it is a rainy nasty day with wind and storms. Am sure the blossoms will be falling to the ground soon. The storms kept me off the computer this morning so I have been digging Easter decorations and bunny stuff out of the storage closet. I am still holding off on the front porch, that is my weakness. I always jump the gun and get the hanging plants up too early then have to bring them back inside…

    No I dont have a Blog nor do I have a desire to start one. I do the best I can in keeping up with you and Tina with just reading and commenting. My first love is the Pet People Blog which I also post on occasionally. I love my critters!

    And yes Tina I have used the potting shelf already! Yesterday I got some of your seeds in the starter kit. I am the ultimate cheapskate so in the past I have always used what ever dirt I had and put it in used Petunia containers and put plastic wrap on the top for the greenhouse effect. This year I bought a kit. The kit said I needed to use seed starter dirt so bought some. Put in half dirt, water, add seeds, add additional dirt, water then put on lid. Sounded simple enough, Well, I forgot the part about water the dirt first and I put the seed in, then watered the dirt. Argggg, the dirt went right through the holes in the bottom of the container and out onto the tray! Good thing I had the tray under the containers! I may have lost some of the seed but Tina was kind enough to send plenty so I think we will be okay and have plenty of blooming things! I should have just stuck with my redneck cheap way of starting seeds! LOL…

    The Saint took the wrens nesting materials down from the porch and they just moved to the other side and started to build there. I was mad at him for removing the first nest as it was in a better place for them to raise a family. Wrens are not messy so I don’t mind them on the porch; the ones I prefer to go elsewhere are the Finches and Phoebes because they make a big mess. Anyway, now the new nest is behind the swing and I am afraid that will be a problem so trying to decide if we should remove that nest in hopes they will go back to the first spot… Dang Saint knows better then to do anything without my approval. LOL…

    Oh, one year I was in DC for my birthday (late March)we walked the Tidal Basin with the cherry blossoms in full bloom! Most beautiful thing you ever saw! Trees looked like they were filled with white snow... The blossoms never open at the same time. All depends on Mother Nature...

  12. hey dave, i am glad i'm not the only one who thinks they look like redbud. redbuds are a great flowering tree. i have three, but no cherries.

    dawn with peaches, i will be looking for those pics. i have school tonight so i'll check it late.

    skeeter, i knew you said you had seen the flowers in d.c. before. we talked of them last year.

    seeds. i sowed mine today. let me give you a tip i did this year. i also used the seed starter. instead of soaking it all before i put it in the pots, i filled each pot really well then added water to the tray. i have let that sit for a week now. seed starter now good and wet. try that next year or put it all in a bucket and add water. can be messy. you will be happy using seed starter. i never had luck with soil i mixed. what did you use? were you successful? i guess so.

    are these the same wrens we have the pictures of? the same family do you think? on the porch works for me. except now i have an orange cat on the prowl and the front porch is her domain. no more birds. enjoy yours.

  13. dave, forgot to say. when i first started this blog, as we all know, comments are hard to come by. skeeter was almost my very first commenter. sandy, the pet people blogger was the first. but skeeter became a regular and kept me going. unless bloggers get comments it can sometimes be discouraging blogging because you don't ever know if anyone is reading or enjoying or whatever! i was thinking of asking skeeter if she wanted to join me. i even emailed the editor, though skeeter doesn't know this. the editor said to let the readers get to know me FIRST. they had not had a chance to do that as i was barely a month into it. now i am pretty well set with comments and readers (get the count once a month from the editor), so i am more comfortable on my own. most readers know me by now, especially the commenters including skeeter, we have met a few times too. skeeter and my other commenters help out me ALL the time and i truly APPRECIATE them all! it is almost like they are posting, but probably without all the work! though sometimes i cheat and have them write up something, i do post it all. i am pretty regular and rue the day i can't be so regular. then i am asking for some help...from my commenters!

  14. HI Tina, I am so happy that Skeeter shared that beautiful spring picture with us. On a day like today --we sure need it! Felt like freezing rain was pelting the boys on the walk home from school. We didn't venure out to do much in the yard today --we worked on the small guys room. He has some new dinosaur sticky cling things I had to strategically place for him:) He is pretty impressed --doesn't take much which is great:) Have a good night --and be careful --it is windy out on 24 today --I've been down it twice --Ciao!

  15. Oh, Tina, what a sweetheart to think of me in such a nice way! I knew in time this would take off for you. I told you to be patient and things would pick up and now look! Wow, you have been getting more comments then the Pet People lately!

    I do enjoy chatting with people and I do have a lot of spare time with being a stay at home mom to cats and no kids! LOL... I look at Blogging as a sort of Hobby. I spend less time in front of the TV thus using my brain more when on the computer! I learn more on here then in front of the TV. But if I had to write a posting each and every day, then it would become more like work to me and then it would not be so much fun and I fear I would loose the hobby aspect of things. That is why I would never start a Blog by myself…

    The front is moving through here now. Wow going to drop 15 degrees below normal temps with highs being around 50 tomorrow! Calling for 20-30 mph winds also and lucky me I have an appointment and get to be in the mess tomorrow. Argggggg I will be by the blossoms so I will take a peek to see if they survived Mother Nature’s wrath….

  16. Tina the time I drove down to NC and Aunt Marion went with me, she had never been south that far so on our way back I went in
    to DC so she could see the sights. We did'nt spend a lotta time in there but did ride by all the big memorials. She was thrilled to pieces. Which makes me think, I also took her either that year or the next year to a Red Sox game. Don't know if you remember or not but she was a big time Sox fan. Never missed a game on TV or on radio back before you would remember. But I remember when it was rare to see a ball game on TV (long before cable). She had never seen a mojor leauge game of any kind. OMG, talk about someone being in 7th heaven!!!! Too bad she or Nana and Baba never lived to see them win the world series.

    Yes it is too bad about the elms. They were very impressive trees. Nana and Baba lost theirs on the front lawn. I had heard what you said about the cherry trees but not what Dawn said.

    Do you have to order batteries for the camera? Can't just go to Wally World or Radio Shack or something like that?

    Dawn you better take good care of that prickly pear. After Tina gave it to me it made a trip to FL and then to Maine. So it has been around a bit.

    Skeeter you are right on about the blog/hobby aspect and about learning. I love to learn but am not good at learning from books and this is great as I have learned so much but I do still watch a lotta TV as I have one on top of my computer. But I NEVER watch regular programs. All news channels, C-Span and PBS. Once in a while I will watch a little baseball, basketball or bowling.

    Glad you went to town last night as the tree is soooooo pretty!!! Thanks

    Been warm here all day but been snowing for about an hour now.

  17. Mayple Syrup....We all had quite a chat about it not too long ago. I just read an article in the paper about it. They expect a good year this year after a very bad year last year. Vermont is the largest producer of it with 450,000 gallons, with Maine the second with 225,000 gallons and New York the third with 224,000 gallons. Figures are from last years production. Maine's production fell 25% last year and nation wide production fell 13%. Worst year for it in 6 years. Intersting but a little boring. LOL

  18. Great blog. The blooms are gorgeous what ever it is. Wish they would bloom down here. My yellow plum is blooming--white blooms. Saw them as I walked around back yard. Get nervous when I see how much work needs to be done.

    I love your mower shed. Great idea for wood shed--and the potting shelf is to die for.
    What day last of March?

    Rainy & a bit cooler here tonight. Supposed to get around 34º again in a couple days. We're getting some of that storm that is moving through. It can change in 5 min. time.

  19. Hi Tina, I am hoping you are back from your class since the news is showing some icing and blowing snow. Not a pretty sight here in TN. Hi Jean --your secluded quiet spot sounds like something I would love. I wouldn't be hiding alone --they'd (kids) think it was a clubhouse for all of them. Wow, that sounds like a really neat spot. Dawn with peaches --all of the boys and the girl have a compound bow and know how to shoot them:) It was quite a sight the day our priest came over and they were all out back shooting at a target, lol. The girl in her dress and bow in hair --right alongside the boys in camo --I really should get more pictures. I laughed my butt off --Our priest friend felt pretty secure at our house:) Currently we have a wide variety of BBGuns that are used daily --it is fun --and I'm guessing my hubbies intentions are to keep the girl safe in a few years:0) rofl He insists she won't get married --and he'll follow the first guy she tries to go out on a date --the older boys are pretty much the same --they can tease the pants off her but if they hear someone has done something to her they want to go get them:0 (they will be something else --I'm sure) Oh, just to make you feel better small man does NOT shoot anything yet, lol. We don't trust his aim yet --maybe another year or two --hahhaa. Hi Lola, the pine stuff was pretty interesting --we lived in NC for a few years and there were tons of pines. I wish I'd known now about the pine needles. I would've been fixing the yard up nicely. Live and learn I suppose. I learn so many things from reading this blog and the posts. Wow, I am long winded --kids are all sleeping. Free time:)

  20. Anonymous I think you are the sweetest and cutest person. I sure do hope I get to meet you sometime and the kiddies! Thanks, it was a great place, I just loved it. Your story reminds me....When I was much younger I had a girlfriend when I was in school who got engaged, married and we both had 4 kids at very close to the same time (she had 4 boys and I had 4 girls), but she went on and had a little girl. Anyway, I was at her house one day when the kids were little (probably some were not even born then) and we saw the priest coming. We were sitting there smoking and did'nt want him to see us smoking so we ran upstairs and got rid of them and went back and let the priest in. After talking for a few mintues he said, "Do you girls mind if I have a cigarette?". We just about fell out of our chairs. Then when my mother was passing away in FL my aunt and I flew down to be with her and the priest came the last night to give her the last rites and my aunt was in the coffee shop of the hospital smoking and she saw the priest coming so put her cigarette out. The priest went in and sat with my aunt and pulled a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket and started smoking! Moral is that they are human beings also. Most of them have seen and done it all.

  21. Mom, I sent pic to Tina, I did the planting and Nikki added the finishing touches. Had to give her fever reducer just a second ago, she is getting sick again (always Feb vacation), told her it's a bummer to get it on a snow day, we have 7'' already, it's planning to go all night. The other one is spending the night at a friends (needs to be a snow day otherwise I won't be happy to get him at 6 am). Our district had a early release today because of this storm, sounds like it's a large front.

  22. anonymous, sounds like you and the little guy had fun. can't wait to see the room and the place where you want a new tree. let me look at and talk with you before you plant a tree. not another cedar though. i'll get you something better and unique which will fit in. made it home safe and sound. slick out there though. especially on my own sidewalk! lol

    skeeter, too kind as always. the blog has taken off but was ever so frustrating at first. you helped so much. you never knew i asked her did you? you stuck with me and when i look back at comments i see only one or two, always you. now i have quite a few regulars. i enjoy all of you and learn alot. plus i can talk to my mother and sister every day. seems we have more time to talk on here than on the phone.

    you are right about it being work. but work i very much enjoy as i so love to talk. look for a post on it tomorrow. should answer some questions.

    i really really like what you say about the computer versus the tv. never looked at it that way. so many folks say they haven't the time for computers yet watch mucho tv. go figure. i do both. lucky me. we need to sell computers on gaining knowledge because i think it was al gore who said, "everyone should have access to the information superhighway". so very true of the internet. what did we ever do before we had it?!

    mom, i do so enjoy talking to you each day. and if i ever got tired of doing this blog, i would never quit just so we could talk each day! how's that for dedication to my mom?

    i too think it quite a shame nana, baba and aunt marion did not live long enough to see the red sox win a world series. who would've thought after ALL those bridesmaid years? close but ever so far. glad they got to go to a game with you. i always remember nana having the game on in the kitchen when i visited with her. hated it then, and still can't listen to them now but it is a good memory of her!

    i did not know about vermont being the largest producer. they are expecting a big harvest of maple syrup this year? how great is that? you all had good rains last year if i can recall correctly. may have something to do with it. lots of folks down here liked that post and the resulting article, as many did not know you could harvest syrup here in the local area. it was fun. thanks for the info and i do not find it boring at all.

    can't just buy a battery. i bought special ones at radio shack and they did not work. had to order one. but i have AA batteries in it now. stopped by a house in the snow to snap some pictures tonight for night lighting post this week. worked like a charm. can't say good things about the moisture getting on my lens though. i do have a picture-FINALLY. been trying to photograph these two houses in the dark for a month. should be a fun post for all.

    i see you agree with skeeter about computers. love the view. we ARE learning things not just surfing-unless it is to my blog of course!

    lola, you are so funny. getting scared when you see what has to be done. i sometiimes get that way IN the house. the outside can be a bit much too but a labor of love. i do love the inside but i have too many things. like my mother and sister i am a collector. but my mother got lucky, she has two daughters who collect, and two who don't. the one that lives next door to her lives in a house that is spartan by contrast to ours. it is funny. she went the opposite way of her mother! huh mom?

    it is freezing here too. probably have a snow day tomorrow. that is fine. you are probably getting the same cold front in florida and also in georgia.

    anonymous, the princess has no choice but tagalong with her brothers and dad now does she? can't leave her out just because she is a girl.

  23. Hi Tina --I couldn't go to sleep --hoping you made it home safe from school. I think we might get a snow day tomorrow too --or at least a delay. That's okay with me:) I suppose you are right about the princess --she has no one to follow but the boys, lol. And, don't worry Tina I will surely take you up on the tree offer --I don't know what to plant there but not in a major hurry since I still have two white pines on that side. Hi Jean --I know it's late but wanted to thank you for reminding me that we're all pretty much the same --I was sitting here laughing thinking of you putting out a smoke so the priest wouldn't see you only to watch him light up, hahaha that was too cute! I hope you come to visit Tina when it warms up down here --she'll have to bring you by the house to meet the boys and princess. I know we'd have a great time --I love to talk --just ask Tina:0) Poor Tina can't get away when I start yapping:)

  24. anonymous, you are funny. very very good friend too. now go to bed and get some rest! you'll need if we have a snow day. i'll bring my mom over when she comes down. don't worry. and you never yap. we have a good time talking. that is how friendship are! see ya soonest. gotta get some rest too!

  25. Oh Dawn I hope Nikki gets up in the morning feeling AOKAY. Tell her Mimi loves her and said nono to being sick.

    Tina I don't know if Al Gore said that or not but he did say he invented the super highway, so they say.

    Awwwww you are so sweet and I to you and all my family!

    I think I said before when we were talking about syrup that I thought Vermont was the largest producer of it. But, I was surprised about New York. Had no idea of that. Not sure about the water affecting it but probably does. The biggest thing that is good for the trees to produce is nice warm days and cool nights. They said that in this article I just read but I have always heard that.

    Bridesmaid years, cute, I like it.

    Yup, Terri-Lynn and Joanne's places sure are sparse compared to yours, Dawns and mine. But you know what? I think their places look much better than ours. I really think buying every darn thing you see and keeping it is a sickness!!!!

    We have about 2 inches of snow right now and not to stop till tomorrow afternoon. Real big flakes. The temp is 35 so it is real wet. That temp has gotta drop to snow all that time.

  26. have fun in the snow mom. we too have some. about one inch.

    dawn with peaches, i hope nikki gets well soon. so many are sick this year. being sick on snow days JUST isn't fair.

  27. Anonymous, you brought back so many memories of chatting about the kids. See, I am the fourth and last child following three brothers! I know how your little Princess feels! I hated dresses and would rather be down in the dirt running those big metal Tonka trucks, climbing trees, shooting the BB Guns (I own one today) with them rather then in my room playing old boring Princess! I think my love of the outdoors and digging in the dirt comes from me being the Ultimate Tomboy! To this day I rarely wear a dress and am a blue jeans and tee shirt kind of gal... I am more excited about riding mowers and gas blowers then a diamond ring any day! LOL….

  28. Hi Skeeter, I have to laugh --just a little. I'll tell you why --my girl loves to do boy stuff but LOVES to wear dresses and fancy shoes, lol. So, it can be a problem --I try to make her wear bloomers --like when she is hanging upside down off the monkey bars on the swingset, rofl. She will hopefully be pretty versatile as a grownup --she can be tough as nails but loves to shop and buy pretty things. I won't deny that buying pretty things is actually kind of fun since I have three boys, roflmbo. I actually kind of "hope" that she stays like this --since she considers herself just as strong as her brothers:)

    Hi Tina --you know me --I'm definitely not a girly-girl --never have been --I'm most comfy in t-shirt and sweats chasing after the boys --trying to keep up with them:)

  29. Bloomers! I had a ruffle pair I hated! LOL... One of the nicknames my dad calls me is Precious Dirt. He said one time I came in the house covered from head to toe in dirt. He asked me what was on me and I said, "just dirt daddy" and he said but it is precious dirt. I have been his little Precious Dirt ever since! I can be girly girl if need be hey, I have had tea with the Generals wife! No one will mess with me because my brothers taught me well, just ask my ex-husband about that on the day I left him! ha.. I do know how to take care of myself although; I like it when the Saint takes care of me!