Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Gnatty Day

Another beautiful sunny day, but this time it actually got quite hot, up to 80 degrees, and a little humid.

I have been on such a roll this past week getting major jobs done while the weather has been so nice, that I plunged into some big tasks today, not realizing how hot it was getting.

I was moving and transplanting, and soon sweat was dripping miserably into my eyes. The air was still, no breeze at all, and gnats were bothering me. They harass the eyes and my ears.

By lunch I was very uncomfortable. When I came in I found that I had a bite right at the inside corner of my eye, and the whole under-eye area was red and swollen.

I look punched. It's puffy and discolored and kind of itchy.

Damn gnats.

But here is what I got done:

I dug up the rosa glauca (after cutting off about a third of the longest arching canes) and moved it to the dry creek bed. I like it much better in this site, with some structure and other plants around it.

The orange hips compete with the red winterberries, but only a little. There is almost no foliage left on the rose now. I hope it lives through this transplant.

Then I dug up the poor Swiss Stone Pine. You couldn't even see it at the back of Meadow's Edge. It had gotten all shaded and overgrown, tall and sparse.

In winter and early spring it has plenty of light, but the grasses at the back, the leaves from the birch above, and the winterberry shrubs crowd it in summer. Here it was last April, enjoying some space.

Here is the transplanted Swiss Stone Pine, now in open sun, close to the little juniper on its left and near the tallish sweet gum on its right. A few more feet away is the parrotia, which I will limb up as it gets big enough.

I transplanted the little blue juniper over a few inches. Really. I had already moved it about two feet over from the growing ninebark earlier in the summer, now I moved it back a few inches. I may kill it yet.

The whole back edge is going to be dominated by that Swiss Stone Pine eventually. Here is a mature one at Tower Hill. Narrow, dense, sort of like a giant dwarf Alberta spruce in shape.

And here it is again, for scale, next to a Norway Spruce, showing how it is combined with other plants. It fits well in tight quarters, so I hope my nearby 'Vanessa' parrotia will grow tall and upright right next to it, the sweetgum in front will be narrow and back right up to the pine, and the juniper will stay small and is far enough over . . . have I really left anywhere near enough room?

Time will tell.