Sunday, March 18, 2012

Jumping into spring

We have certainly been taking advantage of the beautiful early spring weather - before spring is even officially here. The garbage haulers are probably thrilled with us - 2 weeks ago we had 9 bags or bins of yard waste. As of today, for Wednesday's pick-up, we have twelve. And there are a few more days until it gets picked up. Yep, we've been busy. It hasn't all been clearing leaves from beds and weeding, although there has been plenty of that (and plenty more to do). We've been removing grass to expand some of the beds and to clear around trees. The boys have planted spinach and carrot seeds (they love growing veggies). I planted a new rose (Mr. Lincoln) today. And we planted a second apple tree. Three years ago we planted a dwarf Liberty apple tree. We have a flowering crabapple, which will do in a pinch for pollination. Two years ago, we almost had our first apples, until the tree got damaged (I think the culprits may be of the 2-legged variety). It hasn't produced apples since. Today we bought a Honeycrisp apple tree. Hopefully it will survive and we'll get lots of yummy apples. (Honeycrisps are fantastic apples!) It did take trips to several places to find the tree. Mays Greenhouse only had Red Delicious and Golden Delicious (they don't have their full stock yet). Bloomington Valley Nursery only has Northstar and Sentinel. Ready to give up, figuring we would just have to try again in a few weeks, we stopped at Menards to buy a garden cart and a few other odds and ends. And we found several varieties of apple tree, including Honeycrisp, which was one of my top choices. Looking at blooming time, it is an acceptable pollinator for a Liberty (and vice versa). Plus, it's Honeycrisp! Seriously, have you eaten a Honeycrisp apple? The front and back yards are starting to take shape. There's still plenty to do, including a list of projects to work through this year. But I can see what they will look like in a few years. We don't need to be embarrassed by the disaster we had for a few years when we didn't have time to work on them. Plus, it's amazing what a little mulch (or a few yards) will do. Now to keep up this momentum!

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