A grand weeping cherry…and preparing flower beds

Going to see the grandpa weeping cherry …preparing some flower beds

First, the tree:

There’s a big, old weeping cherry tree on top of Mt. Alto.  I’ve been trimming on it and feeding it for over 20 years, and it was big when I got there.  I figured it was time for it to be in bloom so I took my camera and my lady to go check it out.  As we wound our way up the driveway, the tree dominated the top of the hill. I really couldn’t get a picture to do it justice.

A grand old weeping cherry.  The owners refer to it as "THE tree"

A grand old weeping cherry. The owners refer to it as “THE tree”

I think that my favorite view of the tree (either with blooms, with leaves, or bare) is from the top of the upper terrace.  It’s like looking through the top of a living sculpture into the valley below. This tree is on its own roots—not a graft—and it’s the biggest weeping cherry I have ever seen.

Looking through the tree into the valley below is a treat.

Looking through the tree into the valley below is a treat.

I walked around to look at everything and stopped to admire the Lenten roses which framed the shady flagstone walkway.

I love the lenten roses.  They brighten up a shady corner for Easter.

I love the lenten roses. They brighten up a shady corner for Easter.

I enjoyed seeing the bonsai tree sitting on the table creating a concept of a “mountain on a mountain”– macrocosm vs. microcosm.

The bonsai is in a hand made "hypertuffa" concrete dish.

The bonsai is in a hand made “hypertuffa” concrete dish.

We’ll probably have to make another trip in a week or so.  The flower buds on the magnificent old wisteria are getting ready to show off big time.

The wisteria will be covered with beautiful blue flowers soon.

The wisteria will be covered with beautiful blue flowers soon.

It’s funny, but for a long time this wisteria wouldn’t bloom.  Some old people told me to hit it with a sledge hammer.  I didn’t do that, but we pruned it quite a bit this past year.  Maybe that’s why it’s going to bloom so heavily.

I turned and noticed a stem of cherry blossoms hanging over Dekie’s head just asking for this picture. It was a delightful trip to the mountain top.

Walking through the cherry tree blooms.

Walking through the cherry tree blooms.

And on to prepare flower beds at another site:

A well thought out garden needs a touch of johntheplantman

A well thought out garden needs a touch of johntheplantman

On the other side of the county from the weeping cherry is a wonderful, secluded yard on the river.  The overall landscape has been well thought out and nestled appropriately into the environment.  But the flower beds have not been performing well.  After digging around a bit, I figured that flowers just weren’t ever going to be happy in unprepared clay.

On the upper gardens, we piled and shaped compost to form a mounded flower bed from the entrance of the yard down the steps to the lower level and the lake.  There is just something about a truckload of compost that I love.  The flowers will perform well the first year in this medium and the earth worms will churn the compost and mix it in with the clay, causing the bed to get better and better.

I tell people you can stick a pencil in this soil and grow erasers.

I tell people you can stick a pencil in this soil and grow erasers.

For the lower rock gardens, we carefully removed the plants-or what was left of them- and dug out the existing dirt about 8 inches deep.

Sometimes it is best to just get rid of the old dirt and start over.  We will pile it high with good stuff.

Sometimes it is best to just get rid of the old dirt and start over. We will pile it high with good stuff.

We pulled back the pine straw, replaced the dirt, and then put the straw back.  It looked a lot better even without the plants.

Rock garden ready for planting in a week or two.

Rock garden ready for planting in a week or two.

In a few days, according to the weather, we will return to the site and plant it with hostas, ferns, impatiens, and a number of perennial plants.  I love me some compost.  This mix is produced by Fineview Soils in Menlo, Ga.  Mike mixes cottonseed waste, manure, and other organics, turning it until it “cures”.  Before delivery, he has to add wood chips to keep the mix from being too rich.  It is wonderful. I will go back and take photos for this blog in a couple of months to show just how well this method of bed preparation works.

The benefits of my job as a “landscape artist” include meeting and getting to know some wonderful people who are talented in their own areas.  This time, I was able to tour the pottery studio operated by Julie Windler.  She makes beautiful and distinctive pottery and really loves her work.  You may wish to visit her website at The Riverside Potter

Julie Windler, The Riverside Potter. Look closely and you will see a picture of her from sometime back. (Woodstock days?)

Julie Windler, The Riverside Potter. Look closely and you will see a picture of her from sometime back. (Woodstock days?)

These articles are brought to you by John P. Schulz, author of the novel, Requiem for a Redneck .  You can read more of the adventures of John the Plant man here:

For the ebook edition: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FOAJCGO

http://www.amazon.com/Requiem-Redneck-John-P-Schulz/dp/0981825206/

Try “see inside the book”

 

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jane Schulz
    Apr 04, 2010 @ 15:57:18

    John, you have outdone yourself with this one! That weeping cherry tree is awesome and all your pictures beautiful. I love Dekie’s headdress and think it befits a bride to be.

    My weeping cherry tree that you planted nine years ago is in full bloom also. Driving up the hill toward our house, all of a sudden there it is! I almost ran off the road and remembered how little it was when you planted it and how long before it bloomed to perfection.

    Thank you!

    Reply

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