30 April 2008

As Promised: Picture of the Purple-Leaf Plum Tree

I finally remembered to snap a picture of the purple-leaf plum tree before it got completely dark tonight. It is too bad I didn't remember to take this picture last week when the forsythia was in full bloom, so you can see all the contrasting colors: green and crisp white of the house, deep plum leaves of the tree, and brilliant yellow of the forsythia.
Don't mind my messy porch. I would like to tell you all that I'm just in the middle of a project and it doesn't usually look like that. But that wouldn't be true. It usually looks like this. Or worse.

27 April 2008

Fair Warning: Fair Weather

Fair Warning: over the next few weeks, months, or possibly all summer, posts on this blog will probably be preoccupied with the yard. Trees, shrubs, flowers. Fencing, grading, retaining walls, mowing strips, and cement pavers.

26 April 2008

Sheared! and Doggie self-esteem

We finally got around to mowing the whole yard. This has been quite a task because we let it go for far too long, just mowing the areas that were visible to the street, and because the grass seed that I planted last fall just exploded and is going like gangbusters this spring. Now I really should get out there and rake up all those grass clippings before the next mow...

You may not have noticed in other pictures from Wednesday, but Oliver is sporting his summer haircut. His hair is a little shorter than I expected, but it grows fast, so he'll be back to normal in no time. However, he was a little embarrassed about it. He seems to be over it now, but this is the first time I've ever seen him act like this after a trip to the groomer. We took every opportunity to make over him and to tell him how handsome he looks. Not spoiled at all.

25 April 2008

Looking through the bent-back tulips...


We got a visit from the screen and storm window fairy today. Bill called earlier this week to tell me that he is nearly finished with the frames. He's brought them to the house , fit them in the windows, and made adjustments. One of these days mom and I will stain them, and return the frames to Bill and he will install the glass and screens. These are unique because they will be made to fit inside the small, square windows. A few screens came with the house, most of which I have put to good use, that Bill has used as a prototype for screens for the rest, and interior storms for all the small, square windows.
I also talked to Jack yesterday. He put a new piece of veneer on the future front door, but it didn't look good, and Jack was not satisfied with it. Then he got sidetracked with another project (that probably pays better), but he said he will start on my doors again as soon as the other job is done. He expects that will be sometime in the middle of next week. Cool.

This timing isn't too bad because Jack has to mix stain to match, both for the old wood on the front door, and for the new pine on the screen door/storm door. Hmmm... didn't we just get something else made of new pine? That's right! The new screen and storm frames from Bill.

Luckily I was not my usual flaky self when I was on the phone with Jack. I told him all about the frames Bill was going to bring today, and that we intend to stain them. So I asked Jack if he would make us a jar of whatever stain he blends for the storm door/screen door, so mom and I can spare ourselves the tedious process of matching stain. Yea!

23 April 2008

Diggy-dog and the purple-leaf plum

I brought home a 7' Thundercloud Purple-Leaf Plum tree today. I'm always impressed at how much I can fit in the Golf.
We selected a spot... Oliver supervised the dig... and inspected the soil quality...
and was surprised to find a layer of gravel about a foot down.
I forgot to take a picture of the tree in place before it got dark, so, maybe tomorrow?

20 April 2008

Time Of The [re]Turning

Okay, we are back. It has been a rough winter, but spring is finally here. I have been fighting the winter doldrums since November, and it finally got the better of me. But with the sunshine and the temperatures warming, I'm feeling more normal every day.

There hasn't been much to report on the house, Jack did come and collect the front door, and the new screen door/storm door, but I know he is busy, so I don't know what stage they are at right now. I hope to have the new doors in place in time to enjoy the screen door this spring. We'll see.

Last week we pulled that ugly shrub in front of the porch. I'm so glad to see it go. The new grass is beginning to make an appearance, and I'm planning what type of small, ornamental tree I would like in that spot.

I've always loved purple-leaf plum trees, but I'm hesitant because of the plum-pox virus. Although it has now been almost completely lifted for almost the whole original quarantine area in South-Central Pennsylvania, and it was never actually restricted in my township, I'm still not sure it is responsible of me to plant one. So, I'm not sure what else to plant.

It is a tough spot, right between the porch and the sidewalk. I don't want the roots to interfere with the foundation of the house, or to cause the sidewalk to buckle. I don't want something that is going to drop fruit on the porch or sidewalk, making stains. Or worse, having berries the birds will eat, then drop their berry-colored poop all over my car. Also, I have to keep it to a short tree because of powerlines that run right above the sidewalk, parallel to the house. But I want something to shade the front porch a bit. And I want something with dark purple foliage, to contrast nicely with the green siding. What else fits that bill?