Monday, December 30, 2013

Moving Japanese Maples

Sometimes we gardeners find we must move plants, including trees. The reasons to move a plant vary and can range from simply needing to move a plant to a new location in the garden because perhaps it has outgrown its location or is not doing well in that location, all the way to needing to move the entire garden due to an impending move. The latter is the reason I find myself in the position of moving plants, trees, shrubs, bulbs, grasses, and hardscaping. Our new farm is coming along and yes, I surely have my priorities straight-the garden goes in first. It is really a simple decision. You see you can build a house in a few short months up to about six months, but you cannot grow a plant in the same short time. Additionally, plants must be moved at the right time. The right time will depend on the plant and other factors I will try to outline here.

So far the plants I have moved from Tiger Gardens to the new Tiger Way Gardens include:

5 Japanese maples
5 10' tall crepe myrtles,
'Empress of China' evergreen dogwood
Korean dogwood (Cornus kousa)
  Korean maple (Acer pseudosieboldianum)
Chinese redbud 'Don Egolf'

12 Oakleaf hydrangeas (half of them died and the other half are being eaten by the deer)
14 PG hydrangeas
5 'Raspberry Profusion' abelias
7 rhododendrons
4 'Annabelle' hydrangeas
3 'Bella Anna' hydrangeas
2 'Great Star' hydrangeas
2 'White Dome' hydrangeas
32 Bigleaf Hydrangeas
5 Butterfly bushes
1 Leucothoe
14 viburnums
8 Japanese snowball viburnums (three died so now five remain)
Several spiraeas

3 clumps of plume grass (Erianthus ravennae)
3 'Northwinds' switchgrass
Pink Muhly grass

[Perennials] too many kinds to count but they include:
Japanese anemones
Approximately 100 or so cultivars of daylilies
Tatarian asters
New England Asters
Catmint (my MOST successful move as the clumps all love the new location in full sun!)
Shasta daisies
Joe Pye weed
Compass plants
50 or so Peonies
Pulmonarias (not sure if they will make it as they are difficult to move)
Carex 'Ice Dance' (I love this tough little grass like plant!)

6500+ daffodils
Lycoris radiata

Note: I have only listed here what I have moved to the land from my current garden. I have not listed all that I have planted on the farm. That will come at another date. It includes a whole orchard and several trees. Gotta get that shade and grow your own food theme going! As you read this I will most likely be outside digging and moving more trees. Sigh, a gardeners' work is never done! 

 Today's post is focused on moving the Japanese maples, but based on the list above of just what I have moved from Tiger Gardens so far, you can see I am fairly experienced at moving plants. Each time I move a plant I always anticipate that plant will live and thrive and be happy. I never contemplate losing a plant but in the past I have lost some plants. It is to be expected at times. Most of the time my failure at losing plants results from: moving the wrong plant (evergreens do not move well in my experience), moving the plant at the wrong time, not digging enough roots with the plant, or not watering enough or watering too much! It is a fine line you cross when you chose to move plants.  

I have
thirteen Japanese maples growing in Tiger Gardens. Two are the dissectum types and are moveable even tho one is fairly large and has been here five years. I have not tackled these maples yet because the area they will move to is not ready. The remaining eleven Japanese maples are the palmatum type. They range in size from two feet tall to about 18' tall. The 12 and 18 footer trees are  much too big to move. Those two and one other Japanese maple in the front garden are the only Japanese maples I will not attempt to move. The rest average about 6-8' tall with a trunk diameter of about 1" to 2" with the exception of a short Japanese maple.
The above tree is the largest Japanese maple and the trunk is about 2". It is a named variety called 'Burgundy Lace'. I started digging this tree first because it is the largest tree here I thought I could move. I thought if I could dig it then I could dig anything. I have to be honest, I almost gave up the fight. This tree was pretty stubborn. One of the reasons I love Japanese maples is that I find they are quite resilient. This one was no exception to that rule. Its roots grew deep and strong. I started my dig about 2' feet from the trunk. I knew I would have to cut the main anchor roots in order to get the tree out. What I was not prepared for was that those anchor roots grew quite deeply into the ground. I started by making a ring around the tree just to feel out the root system. I slowly worked this ring all around getting deeper and deeper with my shovel at each pass. It would've helped me tremendously to have had a longer shovel. My shovel is only about one foot deep and I really could've used a spade about two feet long. To overcome the shortness of my shovel I removed soil and made a channel around the tree as you can see in the first picture. This enabled me to go deeper and with perseverance I finally got the tree loose from its spot.

Once the tree was free I wrapped the root ball with some large black garbage bags. These root balls of the trees I am moving are much too large for any pots I have here. I have to tell you I was very happy when the tree came out of its location with a significant root ball such as the one pictured above. Of the five Japanese maples I dug on this day three came out with awesome root balls, two came out practically bare root. Fortunately enough for me and the trees this is an excellent time to move trees whether they are bare root or potted (still in soil). This is because the trees are dormant and will not have to be stressed by trying to support a canopy of leaves. Additionally, as long as the soil is above 40 degrees or so the roots will continue to grow and provide nourishment to the trees. The only reason I will have to concern myself with these newly transplanted trees during this time of the year is if the soil freezes for an extended period of time the trees may get dehydrated due to not being able to take up moisture. Additionally, since the roots are not established they are not able to anchor the trees in their new spots on the farm. To compensate for this I have staked the trees only temporarily. Since these deciduous trees have no leaves they most likely will not fall over but there is always a possibility of that. Also, it may take up to one year for the newly transplanted trees to finally get anchored well and once spring arrives that canopy of leaves should pop out. DSCN9689  
Technically you can move plants, including trees, any time of the year-as long as the ground is not frozen and as long as you are prepared to water. Just this year alone I have moved crepe myrtles in early spring, the cornus species in the summer, and several other trees during the fall. This is not the ideal way to go tho because when you move trees and shrubs and even perennials during the spring or summer you need to be prepared for some serious transplant shock as well as be prepared to water a lot. Fall is usually not a bad time to move or plant trees because by the time September and October roll around the trees are beginning to go dormant and rains have usually returned to ensure a good continuous supply of water.
Another way aside from timing the move of your trees to ensure the transplant job will be successful is to root prune your trees. I did root prune at least one of the five Japanese maples I just dug up. I saw no difference between digging that one Japanese maple versus the other four non-root pruned Japanese maples. Perhaps it will settle in faster but perhaps not. If you do root prune plan to do so at least one season prior to the scheduled move.
One more tip on ensuring success with transplanting large trees and shrubs. There are several products on the market that will help with stimulating roots and you can also purchase mychorrhizae to help with settling in the plant. In my case I use a liquid concentrate I add to the water I use to water in my newly transplanted trees. Any kind of starting solution or additive will work if used according to the directions. I also am a firm believer in the addition of organic matter such as compost, rabbit droppings, eggshells, and bone meal. I add all of these if I have them available at the time of planting. If they are not available, I will come back later and top dress the plant.
Only time will tell if I am successful with the move of my large trees but either way I can rest assured I have done everything in my power to ensure their successful transplant. During the winter if I am curious as to the health of these newly transplanted trees I will do a scrape test to check and see if they are still green under the bark. I am always reassured when I see green on my newly transplanted trees. The 20' river birch I transplanted from Alabama in November is still green so I am pretty sure it is okay. I bet these Japanese maples will be fine too....

in the garden....

Happy New Year Everyone! Be safe! 

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Friday, December 27, 2013

On the Closing of the Blog

I hope everyone's Christmas was splendid! Ours was great spending time with two of the four kids and a few of the grandchilden. Be safe next week! As for me I've been busy working on the farm moving some of my trees and other plants as I am able to. More on that soon enough. 
Lately I have been rather distressed about the use of the photos from this blog on other websites, namely commercial websites. So I closed the blog thinking that would fix the problem but it has not and I thought I'd explain that situation today. Most of the websites using the photos from this blog have out of the country addresses and despite contacting the appropriate authorities about getting the photographs removed from the websites, I have had little luck. I was able to get the search results deleted by Google when I filed a complaint with them and I pursued the matter enough that for the most part I am somewhat satisfied. I can honestly say that in a few cases Google actually investigated and took action. Yahoo, one small victory in the war.

Pictures lifted and posted elsewhere include things ranging from my above ground swimming pool all the way to a simple picture of a patio in progress. These pictures were lifted and posted on commercial websites to sell products. In one case the webmaster took one of the pictures and used it twice on a website based out of North Carolina selling paving material like crushed stone, in another case the picture was used multiple times over and over again to sell things. The whole situation is ridiculous. I know webmasters probably don't take their own pictures to use on others websites but geez, at least ask if you can use the picture before compiling a website! Or, if you must, take a picture from a web page where there is NO notice stating pictures are not allowed to be used elsewhere. 

The problem with closing the blog is that the pictures are still available for people to see. I am not sure why since I publish all of my pictures as private. I guess that the pictures are on some kind of image search. You can see the pictures when you go to visit the page even though the blog is closed, the search engine shows a cached version of the webpage. Why????? I would think the pictures AND blog would remain unavailable unless you came to the actual blog posting and the blog was open--not closed--but that does not seem to be the case. 

The other complication with closing the blog is that when I file a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) complaint--I almost always will file--I must show the original picture I claim to be mine. Each picture uploaded to the Internet is date and time stamped so when someone steals a photograph from a website (the original website), that original photograph will always be date time stamped earlier than the stolen photograph. I cannot remove the photographs from the blog because then I would not be able to prove they are mine when I file a complaint. I realized that getting the photographs off from other websites was going to be a problem so I hoped that closing the blog would at least eliminate new thefts, but it did not. All of this is a bit stressful to say the least.

I realize bloggers and photographers and numerous folks get their photographs stolen from websites each day and I understand this to a certain extent. But when I found that Google back image search and realized just what kind of websites and how many took liberties with the pictures found here, I guess I just kind of got really mad. Then when I was not able to get the images removed like usual, I got even madder and began to regret ever getting on the Internet. It seems people think that if an image is on the Internet it then becomes everyone else's image. This is surely not the actual truth but try convincing the hoards that like to believe this. Ha! Not an easy feat by any means but I still try, one person at a time. 

The Google back image search allows me to drop an actual photograph from this blog into the search bar and it will then show me all the websites that contain that particular photograph. Most website owners take photographs maybe innocently enough, maybe not, maybe they think the original owner will never discover the theft, I'm not sure why they take others photographs but when confronted they will usually do the right thing and immediately remove the photograph. I am okay with that situation. But then there are the website owners that are masked and protected by pass through hosting organizations who refuse to help or get involved. These website owners are very crafty and in the market of making money--off from others work. I am not content to let this issue go. I just can't see allowing this kind of use of the photographs that are posted here. I am simply a lay person who likes to share my experiences with gardening with others and I am not sure that chasing down those ideas and photographs from unscrupulous abusers are really worth it to me. I have even contemplated not blogging anymore. They win, no doubt. 

 One note on Pinterest. Despite a clear notice stating NO pinterest from this blog those folks either can't read or don't care because I still find photographs lifted from here and posted to Pinterest. That situation continues to be a thorn in my side. The pinners usually download them and then upload them or just take them from the Google image search. The good news about Pinterest tho, that the other websites I have been dealing with don' t have, is that Pinterest has a procedure in place to correct the problem of lifted photographs and I do take action each and every time I find this blog's photographs on Pinterest. I am not interested in traffic and neither is Skeeter. Sometimes that is the reasoning behind allowing photographs to be pinned on Pinterest, but no thanks!! I don't need or want those kinds of visits. I am interested in talking with others and learning from others and with keeping a photographic scrapbook of my gardening endeavors. Talking and sharing with others does not mean it's okay to take the photographs. I feel very strongly about this particular matter and I apologize if I offend anyone who has innocently enough used other people's photographs and who might be reading this post.

As an alternative to not blogging I have explored ways to stop successful downloading of photographs from here. It is just that those methods such as slicing and dicing and adding a transparent photo over the original photo are really rather time consuming and since I blog for fun, taking all of those measures will surely not make blogging all that fun for me.  So I guess for now I will simply try to use smaller photographs and maybe photographs I hope others are not looking for hoping to frustrate commercial website owners; I will post fewer pictures; and I guess I will take it day by day and see how it goes as I work for better methods to ensure this blog stays intact-on this blog....

in the garden....

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Various Faces of a Garden

One of the signs of good garden design (in my opinion-just like everything else on this blog) is the fact that the garden can look good all year long. This is not an easy thing to do. The gardener must be intimately familiar with plants, textures, structure, form, color, line, repetition, and focal points AND must be able to put it all together. This is not an easy feat. Most all gardens will look good at some point during the year. I have many gardens like this in my landscape but during other seasons or months they might not look so good. Enter the Greenhouse Garden.

I was so enamored with my Greenhouse Garden this year I decided to document its progress throughout the growing season and beyond. I thought it looked great all the time! I'll try to outline the changes you see in the garden as the months progress but the one thing that is consistent in this garden is that it works, and it looks good all year. A little background info first. I designed this garden to be viewed from above. Since the area slopes down I placed taller plants at the back and to the rear of the front of the garden tiered upwards. This process works to balance out the sloping ground. I wanted the ground to be full all year long and I wanted interest. Interest does not necessarily equate blooms and flowers but there are some of them in this garden as well.

The Greenhouse Garden is three years old and is a delight to me. Each year it has gotten better with growth. I do sometimes have to adjust but this year I honestly did nothing to it at all. No watering, no weeding, only light pruning of the 'Limelight' hydrangeas and that is it. No maintenance and lots of beauty is the kind of gardens I desire in my landscape-what about you?
June 3, 2013
We start in early June where the garden looks like a bunch of mounds you can easily make a bed in and get some sleep. The grass reminds me of a bed! That ornamental grass is 'Adagio'. It is my go to grass of choice in landscapes. We do have some color in the form of 'Tango 4U' Asiatic lilies. The bottles are a constant presence and were placed there to highlight the pink coneflowers that will bloom a bit later in the season.

July 9, 2013

The coneflowers are now blooming and the Asiatic lilies have faded away. Cannas are beginning their long season of bloom and the 'Limelight' hydrangeas in the back are growing larger. It is at this point I trimmed them a bit.  Joe Pye weed is hiding behind and the right of the hydrangeas way in the back. It does not make its presence known until a bit later in the season.
July 21, 2013

Coneflowers are still blooming and now the sedum is forming its buds. Sedum is a must have plant in all perennial gardens. It looks good all year round and as a bonus is drought tolerant and attracts bees and butterflies. Everything is getting fuller and more lush as the season progresses.

  August 8, 2013

Then comes the WOW effect! The 'Limelights' are now beginning their bloom, the Joe Pye weed in the background has made its presence known, 'Goldsturm' rudbeckia is perking up, and 'Adagio' has begun its bloom. The bold leaves of cannas help to offset the finer foliage of the grasses and peonies here. 

August 26, 2013

The sedum is getting closer to blooming and the 'Adagio' grass has grown even taller. Everything is quite happy here now but the beautiful Joe Pye weed has gone by. That is one complaint I have about Joe Pye weed-it does not have a long season of bloom.

September 8, 2013

Now in September our sedum is in full bloom and the 'Limelight' hydrangeas and 'Adagio' are still going strong. The rudbeckias are on their way out. The cannas are still a presence and honestly I plant cannas more for foliage than for blooms but some cannas do have great blooms. 

This is a long shot of the landscape area where the Greenhouse garden is located. The path through the middle used to house a 24' above ground swimming pool a few years ago. Regular readers might remember my challenges with taking that pool out. We just had too many trees to make having a pool all that worthwhile for us. The garden area on the left is under a large cedar tree and gets more shade than the Greenhouse Garden. I did carry some plants over to that area mainly in the form of my wonderful 'Limelight' hydrangeas.
November 13, 2013

I had to wait a long time to get this final picture because I was out of town. Unfortunately I did not get any good shots of the garden in October. This picture was taken upon my arrival home. The perennials such as the peonies are mostly gone, The cannas are still there but are all brown, the sedum is still in the garden but is fading to yellow. The grasses and the 'Limelight' hydrangeas are still there tho. They will carry this garden through until February when the hellebores, pulmonaria, and bulbs begin their bloom. I leave most of plants standing until then especially if those same plants have good winter interest. Plants that provide good winter interest and which I leave up are: coneflowers, mums, asters, sedum, rudbeckia, and grasses. I cut all peonies, cannas, crinums, etc. 

I'm going to leave you all with this post and wish you all Happy Holidays!

in the garden....

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Fall Sights while Geo-Caching

The Saint and I left our GEORGIA GARDENS, for some more Geo-caching. This trip took us to Athens, GA.
We strolled along the beautiful North Oconee River Greenway. Click HERE to read about the Greenway.
 We had a beautiful walk on a paved trail full of history. We saw an old Railroad Trestle.
Railroad trestles are so fascinating to me. I can only wonder how all that wood can hold up a heavy train for so many years.
We spotted this in the middle of an open field. A Pavilion for gnomes maybe?
We enjoyed our walk filled with beautiful views and history.
 We drove on down the road to Hard Labor Creek State Park. Click HERE to see more on the park.
 Our Geo-caching adventures had us walking a most beautiful pathway filled with Fall Colors.
 We found a Cache at this spot called "Lake View" and what a view we had!
 Tree roots made stairs for us to walk along the trail. I spotted two chipmunks within the park and I bet that hole belongs to one as well. This was the most challenging trail we have walked in a State Park before with lots of twist, hills and narrow walkways. Giving us a great workout with our walk. 
 We had never been into one of Georgia's State Parks when it was so full of people before. The campgrounds were full, cabins had patrons and the woods were full of people hiking and even Geo-Caching. It is wonderful to see so many people in the great outdoors! The group you see above were new to Geo-Caching and asked us a lot of questions about the game. We took the time to chat with them and we shared lots of tricks to the trade.
 Look at those colorful leaves which formed a carpet for us in the woods.
Look at this awesome tree.
 I love old trees such as this.
 I am captivated by such trees.
 Our Geo-walk took us to this spot.
 A most beautiful setting.
And inside the old gate house, we found our 200th Geo-Cache! We both agreed that we could not have found a more perfect spot for number 200. We savored the moment and picked up a Rock to label #200 for our garden. We had a most wonderful day enjoying the FALL SIGHTS WHILE GEO-CACHING, In the Garden...

*It is our busy time of year now so I will be popping in and out for the next few months. Enjoy life and your surrounding beauty where ever your paths may take you! 

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

October Sights while Geo-Caching

 With the temps cooler and humidity lacking, the Saint and I have gotten back into our hobby of Geo-Caching. Today, I wish to show you some of the things we have seen while out playing our Treasure Hunting Game.
 Wild Flowers are the main thing we notice.
 They are every where in nature.
 Wild Flowers make our strolls in the woods a bit more exciting.
 This I believe to be some type of Wild Verbena.
 I have seen more of this pretty purple flower this year then ever before. I can only assume it liked all the rain we had in the spring and early summer months.
 On this day, we spotted empty snake eggs. We can only wonder what type snake came out of these eggs.
 Thank goodness, no snakes were any where to be seen.
 Could this be the beginnings of a Saw Palmetto? Or what?
 A beautiful mushroom caught my eye in the GEORGIA woods. From a distance, I thought it was a golf ball.
 A box turtle was coming to life in the warmth of the day. You can see the hole where it had been napping.
 We said hello to Mr. Turtle and went about our Geocaching.
 While in Tennessee, we did a bit of Geo-Caching as well. These beautiful blooms were a welcome sight at the local Winery in my hometown.
 Beachaven Winery, always has a beautiful entry and this day was spectacular with the sun shining, making for popping colors. I have never seen Celosia this large before.
 And look at the size of this beauty!
A prize find, this rock. Yep, that is a Geo-Cache in the form of a Fake Rock. Once turned over,  you find the compartment to open and a log to sign stating you have found the Cache! We enjoyed the OCTOBER SIGHTS WHILE GEO-CACHING, In the Garden...
*Stay tuned for more sights of Geocaching on Thursday...

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden

Monday, November 4, 2013

Imagine a Mouthful of Wasps!


This is a post you should not read if you are squeamish, because it is not a pretty garden post and actually has some pictures of scat in it. You've been warned!

As I've always done on this blog I write about experiences in our garden and how we live and learn. Recently we had an experience with a ground nesting wasp nest. I have no idea what kind of wasps made this nest so I will not specify the type of wasp, but I suspect is was some kind of yellow jacket, perhaps a southern yellow jacket. I will tell you that generally yellow jackets are the type of wasps that nest subterranean (underground). This was indeed a subterranean nest. The above picture shows the location of the nest.

Of course the entrance to the nest was not a ripped out hole in the ground with a bunch of comb scattered about. No, if it was then Farmer Fix-it may have spotted the wasps prior to being stung several times by the residents of this nest. There is a tree near this wasp nest and unfortunately for Farmer Fix-it and our little dog Buttercup, the tree had to come down. Cranking up the chainsaw near the nest precipitated a series of events that spelled doom for the wasps. And the danger was not so much from Farmer Fix-it or the dog, but from some other varmint in the locality-a nocturnal varmint.

The pictures you are looking at are the remnants of a large ground dwelling wasp nest that was literally ripped apart recently. Of course Farmer Fix-it is saying yeah! He was not so happy about having some stings on his head. It is perhaps due to the tree having to come down and the wasps being disturbed that brought the location of the wasp nest to a local resident because the day after being stung by these wasps Farmer Fix-it discovered the remnants of the nest all over the ground. He and I were both scratching our heads and wondering what the heck could have happened to the nest?

A clue was found right next the remnants of the nest in the form an an animal's scat. Now I can tell you right now Farmer Fix-it and I are not experts in identifying scat. We try by Googling images of scat, but it is still a hit or miss process because a lot of animals have scat that look exactly the same. The animals who have scat like we found could be: skunks, raccoons, armadillos (yes they are in Tennessee), and possums. We simply can't pick one of them out as the perpetrator because we think perhaps all of these animals are on the land and all of them may eat wasps. We are leaning toward a raccoon simply because we have seen a raccoon or two on the land-big ones too.
Regardless of the type of animal this scat belongs to can you imagine eating wasps??? I can understand wanting to eat the larva of the wasps but the wasps themselves?? If you look closely at the above picture you can see the wasps are pretty much whole and intact in this scat. Don't you think they stung as they were being gobbled up? Having been stung by wasps several times I can tell you I cringe at the very thought of accidentally, let alone on purpose, getting a wasp in my mouth. OUCH!

Despite the decimation to the nest the wasps were back the same day trying to repair their nest. Apparently the unknown varmint did not eat all of the wasps. I suspect it may come back after its mouth heals....

in the garden....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden