Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Productive Saturday and Wasted Sunday

It's certainly been a mixed bag this weekend. Yesterday was lovely and I was able to get one major project completed. Behind the pond is a large ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius'Summer Wine'). A 10 foot tall, 12 foot wide shrub with purple leaves, 'Summer Wine' is supposed to be a more compact variety of ninebark. It certainly is a dense variety and quite beautiful.

In the midst of my renovations, however, I find having foliage all the way to the ground to be more of a  nuisance than anything. It is hard to weed at the edges and several plants were being shaded out entirely. Reshaping this shrub was definitely on my list of projects, so when my darling spouse, Brian, decided to go to the Saratoga track for the Travers race, I pulled out all my implements of destruction and went to town on it.

Before Shrub Surgery
As you can see, there is a cleared area in front of the bush where we removed the sod to stop the encroachment of the lawn. The thickness of the foliage at the intersection of lawn and shrub made weeding a scratchy proposition. Believe it or not, there were actually 3 daylilies hiding under the branches. Poor planning on my part, but I believed them when they said this shrub was compact.

After Shrub Surgery

Another View
I really like the shape of the shrub after the trim. The arching of the upper branches can be seen and there is now room for some shade plants. The weeding and trimming of the plants around the shrub was accomplished for the first time in 3 years!

Shrub and Pond
The 3 daylilies, what was left of them anyway, were relocated to sunnier homes. In the course of removing them, I had to climb around the top of the pond and managed to annoy our resident pond monster. He/She scared the crap out of me by leaping from the top of the waterfall into the main pond with a resounding splash. I almost fell in after it!

Pond Monster
The last bit of wildlife I have to report for the day was a tiny tree frog I found earlier in the morning while weeding over by the woods. We looked him up in the Peterson's guide and he appears to be a grey tree frog. He was absolutely adorable! After admiring him and inflicting an impromtu photo shoot on him, I brought him back to the weeds from whence he came.

Tree monster
The rest of the day was spent lounging on the couch until Brian came home.

Today, on the other hand, has been a spectacular waste of a day. The remnants of Hurricane Irene arrived in the night and it has been nothing but wind and rain all day. We did the only thing we could do - slept in and watched TV. And played with our computers, of course.

We've been lucky and had no damage from the storm. There are reports of a mudslide which took out a few houses in a neighboring town, but thankfully there were no injuries. Wherever you are out there, please take care and be safe!


Rose said...

What an adorable little tree frog; I've never seen one this tiny! I've been looking at photos from Irene's destruction on the internet this morning; glad to hear that you had no damage and only had some wind and rain.

I came here by way of The Sage Butterfly--I saw your avatar and had to stop by. My daughter has a pug, and I seem to be drawn to them:)

Sharie said...

I had never seen a frog like that either, which is what prompted the photo shoot. Hubby took about 45 pictures of the little guy! He (the frog) was very patient about it, too!

The pug is our resident House Monster, Gracie. She's about a year and a half old and still full of piss and vinegar! She keeps us on our toes!

NHGarden said...

Enjoyed your post...Ninebark is on my list of shrubs to consider someday. I love the look of the dark foliage.

The Sage Butterfly said...

The shrub looks much better after your surgery. I really like the shape...very nice. Your little garden friend is so adorable!

Sharie said...

Thanks, Ladies! Ninebark takes pruning well from what I've seen.

Chris, the purple foliage is gorgeous, especially when you put lighter flowers against it like the Russian sage in the pond picture. There are also gold leaf varieties that really do stay small.

Michelle, the little guy was so cute I wanted to keep him!