Outdoor Living – August Gardens

We’re nearing the end of the summer season and making every effort to enjoy our outdoor living spaces while we can. The days are becoming a little cooler and dryer, and of course, growing
shorter. The early mornings and late evening sometimes require a sweater. The gardens flourished this year with very little damage from the deer. One of our Beech trees, however, took a beating from the yellow-bellied sapsucker.

My Beech tree.

My Beech tree.

We lost a couple of branches, which saddens me. This is the tree I see first thing upon wakening each morning. Interestingly, the tree leaves turn brown in the fall, but remain on the tree until spring. They continue to flutter and entertain, hold snow and bear up under some pretty harsh conditions. Our arborist is coming to wrap the trunk and limbs in wire to prevent further damage next spring. I hope it works.

Notice the rows where the saplings pecked for sap. Above you can see one of the two limbs we lost :-)

Notice the rows where the saplings pecked for sap. Above you can see one of the two limbs we lost 🙂

We’ve gone about 85% organic on the property recently. It’s an experiment at this point. Dennis from Bren Landscaping and Masonry is using a citrus oil (and I’m sure there’s clove oil in there, too, a very distinct aroma) to spot spray the weeds. It kills them within an hour. What we’re interested in finding out is if it goes all the way to the roots.

Weeds treated with the organic spray.

Weeds treated with the organic spray.

Lacy went nuts over the spray and rolled and rolled in it. The aroma is extremely intense. I think she regretted her decision, because as we walked the property discussing other issues, she started rolling in the green grass seemingly to rid herself of the smell. She got a bath as soon as we went in and she has never rolled in the spray again!

Lacy

Lacy rolling in the grass to rid herself of the citrus oil!

 

Lacy

Lacy

I’ve also consulted with Almstead Tree & Shrub Care about going organic. We had a good discussion and there a couple of areas that he can’t guarantee that serious damage won’t be done to our pines (deer spray) and our wild apple tree (some kind of bugs) without a traditional spray. These sprayings occur very early (crab apple tree) and very late in the season (deer spray – protecting about 40 pine trees). I worry less about the dog in the grass at this time of year because our outdoor time is less in the yard and more at the park for walks. Also the pool has been winterized.

 

Crabapple tree that requires a non-organic spray.

Crabapple tree that requires a non-organic spray.

I made the choice because the dog, our dear little Lacy, recently had a growth removed from her chest that was cancerous. Fortunately, they got clean margins and she’s okay. Also, when I swim, I get water in my eyes and mouth and it just seems a prudent thing to do.

We have a huge responsibility to keep the grounds healthy. We’ve spent lots of time and money to bring it to its current magnificent condition and I would be loathe to lose anything. We’re hoping that the plan works and can be tweaked to our advantage as needed.

Some of the 40 pines on the property in the background.

Pool pavilion with some of the 40+ pines we’ve had planted on the property.

Planter speakers for the pool sound system.

Planter speakers for the pool sound system.

Pool and upper gardens.

Pool and upper gardens.

 

Pool garden left side.

Pool garden left side.

 

Front garden under master bedroom.

Front garden under master bedroom.

 

Driveway and stairs to the front entrance.

Driveway and stairs to the front entrance.

 

Burgundy-colored hydrangea.

Burgundy-colored hydrangea.

 

Backyard Garden at the Master Bedroom

Backyard Garden at the Master Bedroom

Backyard Rock Garden to the Left

Backyard rock garden to the left.

 

Backyard rock garden to the right.

Backyard rock garden to the right.

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