"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Monday, November 26, 2012

I'm still here...

 Let's see if I still remember how to do this blogging thing.  I have thought and thought about trying to get a post done.  First it was hard to get in the blogging mood, then life stayed busy (maybe even a little busier than usual).  My Dad has been recovering from surgery for cancer, then has been back in the hospital two times since (he's in right now).  My youngest sister and her husband had a baby boy.  Plus, all the usual things that come up.  Then the record setting rains came, then finally today I had both time and some sun!
I found that I had only taken one picture of the garden in October and it was of the pond.
At the beginning of November I started taking some before pictures of part of the backyard where we were finally getting a tree taken down.

 You can see how close the tree is to the deck, and our yard is not very deep so it is also very close to our house.  We had to pull up all the stepping stones in the area as well as dig up some plants.

 The guys who took the tree down couldn't believe such a large tree was planted so closely to our house, but I'm sure years ago when it was planted no one guessed it would get to 90 feet tall and continually drop needles, pine cones and sap all over our roof, gutters and deck.  Nothing other than a Currant bush, which was very scraggly, grew under it.

 These guys were amazing.  They lowered each branch down into exactly where they said they would.  Then they cut sections off and dropped them in the same area.  I wish I would've taken some pictures of just how big the sections were.  Very heavy!  We got rid of all of it over the weekend but it wasn't easy.  My cousin and her husband came, as well as fellow blogger April.  It was fun to meet her in person even if it was over watching our husbands move some heavy log rounds in the rain.  She brought me some peppers from her garden too!

 For now we are leaving the stump and I actually think I like it.  Here you can get an idea of how wide it was.  That is a wine barrel plus another planter and still room left.

 One big difference is light!!  I will be able to grow so much more now in the garden as well as containers on the deck.  Our neighbor said she noticed more sun coming into her house too and she was happy for that.

 Our little rabbit in his hutch is back in the garden.  Next to the stump I planted a Hinoki cypress 'Fernspray Gold'.  The parents of the girls on the soccer team I coached gave me a gift card to my favorite nursery, and I used that for the pretty cypress.  How nice was that?!  It will slowly grow to about 6 feet tall which will be perfect for the area.  I moved over a Limelight Hydrangea and planted some bulbs.  I'll wait until spring to plant more.

 It just feels so much more open and light now.  I've still got lots to do to get it back together, but for now it will be fine.

 I moved the wine barrel planter that had  been under the Japanese Maple which left this nice open area.  My girls decided to move all the fairy garden things here.

 The pond is very full from all the rain we've had.

 Behind the pond it still looks pretty good.  I'm glad I started planting things here that would look good into the winter.

 A couple of weeks ago my husband and I made a couple of batches of fig jam.  It turned out so good!  We still have more figs from our tree in the freezer and will hopefully get another batch done before Christmas.

Our chickens are still laying, we've added supplemental lighting which makes a difference.  One chicken is STILL not laying, but that's okay.  We've been sharing eggs with everyone because we can't use them all.  My husband has become an expert quiche baker.  It's difficult to tell that the bottom egg is actually light green.

Hope all is well with everyone.  I feel so out of the loop in the blogging world. 
All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It


  1. Oh Catherine I am out of sinc too. I've been planning a post but just haven't yet. I know you are happy about the tree being gone. I hate pine sap. The additional light will be worth it for sure. Love the fairie garden. Hard to keep up with the chickens and eggs. That is the problem mom had - she gave so many away and people didn't want them anymore.

  2. Hi Catherine, I've missd you! I enjoyed seeing the chickens, eggs, bunnies, and how your garden is changing after the tree was removed. I LOVE your fairy garden. Where I live, we garden bloggers have the challenge of not much to show...winter's quickly approaching! lol
    Merry Christmas to you and your family! Beth

  3. Hi Catherine, it's good to see you again! It is really something to watch a big tree brought down by professionals! We had an enormous oak tree removed that was only a few feet from the house. It was scary! The man who did it was nice. He had to drop part of the tree through the middle of a dogwood tree, which we all hated. He purchased and planted a new one for us, bigger and better than the first. Your garden looks great. The stump fits right in, and I love the fairy garden area.

  4. Welcome back! your garden is looking lovely - I love that little fairy garden. I have a tiny garden but after reading about it I am trying to grow a few fruit trees, pruned to keep them small. I think it is important not to let trees get away and then they get too big to manage.

  5. Hi lady! Life certainly has been keeping you running. Hope everyone is doing well right now. Take care of you too!
    I never thought about how tall that tree was. Your path and your pond are always great places to photograph. Such a difference by the path and yet it all looks back in place. You've made some nice changes.
    Yea for the eggs and fig jam. Isn't it great when your own garden provides for your family.
    Don't be a stranger. Hope to hear from you more!

  6. It's great to see a post from you! Even though I "see" you lots on Facebook, it's good to see how your garden is doing. I bet that fig jam is yummy, I'm so jealous. I had a potted fig tree for about a year, and then it died, I don't know why. Maybe I'll try again. We had two huge maple trees taken down many years ago when we lived in Massachusetts, it was a huge undertaking, and made for a very stressful day. They were very close to our house too.

    What a treat that you got to meet April! She seems like a really fun person. I'm having a hard time coming up with topics for blog posts too. I'm getting lots of gardening chores done, but they don't make for interesting posts.

  7. Catherine,
    Wow that stump is huge, it was a big tree. All that light in the garden and sleeping safe at night not worrying about it falling during a bad storm. We have chickens now, how do you let them loose in the garden?

  8. Welcome back !!! Catherine...wowwww...you did a lot again in your garden...so fine your father is doing well again...and you are a grandma now !!! congratulations !!!...have a nice day.....and thanks for letting now how you are...love love Ria...xxx..

    1. Hi Ria,
      Thanks. I'm actually an aunt again, not a grandma :). Thanks for visiting!

  9. Huge tree. We have to have a couple brought down as well. Love the fairy garden.

  10. I thought about you just the other day Catherine, wondering where you are. Life has to be lived and we don't always have the time or the inclination to keep on blogging. I am so glad to read your post and about all the projects at your place. It looks wonderful as usual. I was sorry to hear about your Dad. Hugs and prayers for him at this time, and for all of you too.

    Enjoy not having that humongous tree.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  11. I totally understand the delay in blogging, I've a gluten free food blog I just can't seem to write for anymore - I never thought that day would come.
    We also have the same kind of tree next to the house except ours is leaning horribly and I'm always worried it will fall down pulling some of the house with it.
    Hope all is improving with your Dad, such a difficult thing to watch, hugs to you. You have so much going on, take your time and give yourself some time.

  12. We were going to have two giant Douglas Firs taken down this fall, but had to postpone. Hopefully they will come down in the Spring, if we stay in this house. The constant getting on the roof to clean the needles off, and clogging up the gutters, has not been any fun for my hubby. Let alone the pitch everywhere (our poor dog lays in it all the time. Last year's spring storm brought down huge branches. It is amazing how close they built these homes to giant Doug Firs!
    I love your fairy garden!!

  13. How fortunate you had such good tree people to take down that tree. Taking down a tree is a big adjustment (new light, 'feel' of the space, spacing, etc.) by it just being gone. The actual deed can be rife with anxiety, concern and even some second-guessing. I'm glad your removal went smoothly and you're totally happy with the results. Now you can enjoy your gardens even more than you do now. Congrats.

  14. Glad to see you back, I was missing your updates. I bet your garden is flooded with light now. It will be interesting to see how much difference it makes over the next year

  15. Hello stranger!
    Catherine, it's nice to see you again! I wish the best to your Dad. It's heartbreaking to see our parents sick.
    As for trees.... We have a lot of them around our house. As you said, it means needles, branches and pinecones on the roof. One well known garden person recommended me to cut their tops! He says this is what happens in nature. Well, I am not ready for that, yet.
    All the Best to you and yours!

  16. You have an absolutely amazing garden and blog! It looks like you could have been an exterior designer! Your yard really amazes me. So beautiful! Looks like those guys did a great job removing the giant tree you had. Who did the job? They deserve credit, it came out awesome and I really like that you left the stump there. It looks good and can be a little reminder of what once was. Anyone else thinking of the giving tree right now? Great read, very informative. Thanks!

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  17. Hi Catherine, Although we're still friends on FB it's nice to see your blog. The transformation of your garden is amazing. Why those dang trees get planted so close to houses I'll never know. I guess it's like you said, people don't think about how big they'll get when they're tiny little things. Your eggs look great and I'm glad you're all doing well. Sorry about your dad though. I hope he has a full recovery.

  18. I've been falling behind in my blogging too Catherine. As much I would love to blog more, there just doesn't seem to be time. We had to have our pine tree taken down this summer and I think the process was much the same as yours. I was at work though, and couldn't be there to watch (I suspect I wouldn't have been able to anyway). I have yet to clean up the area, and it's a bit of an eyesore. I really need to tackle it somehow.

  19. Glad to see you posting Catherine. It sounds as if life has got in the way :) Fascinating to read about the removal of the tree - hope that you and the plants enjoy the resulting extra light. Fig jam - mmmmmmmmm :)

  20. I was thinking about you and hoping you were well...first everything is so lush and green from your rain...we are still recovering from drought and winter is here. Catherine your chickens are so big and those eggs look amazing. And the figs wow...yummy! We will be losing our trees although we did not want to. That tree was definitely too big and too close..glad to have you back!

  21. Nice posting, glad to see you back on here. The tree being removed really opened up your garden! What a change.
    How nice of the parents to give you a gift card to the nursery.

  22. Wow . . . huge improvement with the tree gone...I liked your photos,they really told a story.

  23. Wow, very big difference without the tree. Your photos really helped tell the story! Kathi aka fossillady

  24. It's been a while, but I'm visiting again! I always love taking a pictorial stroll through your garden! Your side yard changes look great...I kind of like the stump, too! I'm looking forward to seeing what you plant for the spring!

  25. Hi Catherine, I remember when you posted this on FB. It is really neat to see a large tree come down. What a nice difference. I was looking at your rabbit hutch too. We have two rabbits and one hutch. I was thinking of buying one like this or building one. It looks like your fella is happy so now I am pondering a new hutch soon. Anyhow, take care and enjoy that new garden with all the new light! Expect that pine stump to decay quickly. I am still filling in a pine stump in my frontyard that we took out 12 years ago. It keeps rotting away and the ground will fall away. We've pretty much left all of our stumps as the natural way is not only the cheapest way but the easiest way too I think. Take care!

  26. Gosh, I left a big long comment but I guess blogger ate it:( Anyhow, glad you got that tree down. What a big job! The bunny is a cutie!

  27. Hello!
    Interesting blog. Welcome to http://filmandotherstories.blogspot.se/
    :) Take care!


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