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Weekend in review--

Didn't have a lot of time to stop and breathe this last weekend. Star came over to help with some lawn design ideas--we discussed a sort of courtyard in the front area, and she had a lot of ideas for trees that should be put in/taken out. Had a nice breakfast (philly cheese steak-esque omelettes, buctlen--puffy little brioches with egg custard sauce), then a little more discussion of the lawn/garden sort of thing.

After that, we had about 30 minute to get down to Sparrow's house for the semi-monthly furry movie night, which ran until 12:00. So, at this point, there's been about 15 minutes of free time. Wheee! The movies were pretty good, though, a made-for-TV horror anthology film called "Nightmares" which was, really, very tame, and a silly Aussie film called "Black Sheep" about weird man-sheep-hybrids (don't ask, yes, they went there repeatedly) going on a bloody rampage. That was a fun film, with a great costume of the main monster.

The next morning, got up, went to church, worked one of the tables (and one of my high school friends that I hadn't seen in 10 years is joining! Neat!), then went to the horse races with Fizzit and Itza...that was amusing, had never done that before. Had lunch at Cafe 290, where they served a good, but not great, chicken fried steak (I'm still looking for the perfect CFS, still haven't found it, but this was probably the best in Austin). Did a little unsuccessful shopping for plant stuff, then got home at maybe 8:00.

So, there goes the weekend! I wanted to go shopping again for some plants, but the little packet of stuff containing my ID and credit card seems to have gone missing. I hate it when that happens. I didn't think to grab my checkbook on my way out the door.

I'm hoping to get a little more free time this weekend, maybe go hit one or two garden supply places and get at LEAST the shade trees we talked about, so we can plant those--kind of a "if I only get to one thing this spring, let's at least start the one that takes five years to grow" sort of thing. Maybe I can run down south on Wednesday afternoon and look into that.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 3rd, 2008 08:05 pm (UTC)
A word of advice -
dig the hole before you buy the tree / large bush. That way, if it takes you a week or two to get the hole dug, you don't have an expensive plant languishing while you get it done. If the hole needs to be a bit larger / deeper when the plant arrives, it's a lot faster to do minor modifications.

Remember: dig a shallow, jagged, ugly hole. In clay soil, neat-sided holes turn into pots that choke your plants.
Mar. 3rd, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
Re: A word of advice -
Ooh, that's a good idea. Thnx!
Mar. 3rd, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
Re: A word of advice -
What size is an affordable magnolia likely to be, pot-wise? ARe they more "foot-high pot" size, or much bigger?
Mar. 4th, 2008 03:13 am (UTC)
Re: A word of advice -
"Affordable" is a relative term. Generally, a container-grown tree or shrub won't be sold in a container larger than 15 or 20 gallons. Think maybe 2.5 feet across, 18 inches deep for the container, then dig a hole wider than that (deeper only if you want to). After you plant to tree, save the plastic container, cut the bottom off, and use if for containing aggressively-spreading plants (like mint).

I think the Chinkapin oak I planted in the front yard was about 20 gallons and ~$150 (plus $50 to have a nursery employee with a pickup deliver it).

Mar. 4th, 2008 02:39 pm (UTC)
Re: A word of advice -
Oh, ouch :( I don't know if I can afford thigns like that right now--I'll start with mountain laurels, and shop around a bit for the shade trees.
Mar. 4th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC)
Re: A word of advice -
You can get smaller shade trees; that's just how much I paid for the one I got. You could probably spend less by selecting a more common species, or by buying it somewhere else (though do make sure what you buy is a good specimen).

I'd advise that you put in the shade tree first, since time will have the most dramatic effect in it. Waiting six months or a year to put in a mountain laurel won't make all that much difference, and there are more small mountain laurels available than there are small shade trees. The Home Despot near my house has three sizes of mountain laurel in stock: 1 gallon for $7, 5 gallon for $20, or 9 gallon for $80. For shade trees, they have species and sizes ranging from a 20 gallon Texas Ash (short-lived, but nice, and fast-growing) for $55 to a 30 gallon Elm for $169.

In general, with landscape plants you trade money (in buying a larger plant to start with) for time (waiting for the thing to grow in your yard). This is especially true of the slower-growing plants, since a larger pot size may represent several more years' worth of investment by the grower.
Mar. 4th, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC)
Re: A word of advice -
Good points--I'm hoping I can take some time to go shopping at a good nursery this Saturday. My mid-month paycheck is on the 13th, so I can spend a little time excavating and then do some purchasing on the 22nd. I CAN afford a few good trees, but the pricing is a wee bit shocking, first time out.

I do like magnolias in particular, so I'll probably want to get two of those. I think I'm going to hold off on the shade tree for the front yard, though--until we know what's happening with that oak-thing, whether this is the year where it springs back to life, or we cut it down. Is it safe to put in trees in the summer, or is the big growing season the spring?
Mar. 4th, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC)
Re: A word of advice -
You can plant in the spring, or in the fall once it cools off. Planting mid-summer is a recipe for disaster around here - the plant has to deal with transplant shock, and then also the abuse of a Texas summer, and the mortality rate goes up sharply (even with daily watering and attentive care).

Any trees that you want to put in, that don't make it in this spring (early), should be planted in the early fall. They'll have all fall, winter, and spring to establish their root systems, and they'll do much better come summer.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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