Monday, June 24, 2002
It was a rather icky day today -- in the low 90s with high humidity -- so I had to start my gardening early (around 7 AM) and quit by around 9 AM since it was so unbearably awful outside.
I hadn't done anything garden-related for the past few weeks since I've been side-lined by a truly horrendous cold/upper-respiratory infection for the past 2 and a half weeks where I was stuck in bed coughing up a lung while suffering from an extremely bad sore throat throughout that time period.
While I was sick, several plants arrived -- they were either replacements for items that hadn't arrived or had died earlier in the season or plants that had been on back-order and finally were in stock. Today was the first day I was well enough to plant anything, so I did what little I could this morning before I had to quit because of the heat.
I planted a red D'Anjou pear in the north front corner of the house, between the quince and the Italian purple plum trees. I also planted a Korean Giant asian pear tree in the back yard by the patio, between the Carpathian walnut tree and the Italian fig my father had gotten from my neighbor to the south and had planted several years before he died. Neither tree was in great shape -- they had been waiting around a while in hot weather for me to plant them but I couldn't because I was too sick. I think they're still alive, but I don't know if they'll make it or not.
One of the trees I planted this spring, the dwarf Superior plum, looks like it may be dead -- the wood looks and feels dry and I don't see any leaves sprouting from it. The Jonafree apple tree and NorthStar cherry are both sprouting leaves and the blueberries look OK, although I think one or two of the cranberries I planted may be dead. It's been hot and dry the past few weeks and I was so sick I couldn't even water the plants, so that may be a contributing factor to their demise.
The dwarf weeping mulberry seems to be doing fine, though, and I even had a few mulberries from it this morning. I didn't think it would bear this year but it has -- not many berries but pleasant-tasting . . .
Speaking of weeping trees, the weeping Japanese cherry finally arrived while I was sick and I planted it this morning on the strip of land between my driveway and that of my neighbor to the north, right where the chainlink fence ends and the wooden picket one starts -- that's the demarkation point between the ornamental and edible sections of the garden. Everything to the east of that point is primarily ornamental and everything to the west is primarily edible, although there are a few exceptions here and there -- mostly fruit trees that either I or my father planted in the eastern (front-yard) section.
My father believed that plants on the property should produce something in order to "earn their keep" -- preferably by being edible, but producing pretty and/or fragrant flowers was also acceptable. I too adhere to this philosophy and try to plant accordingly. The fruit trees I've added to the front were chosen as much for their ornamental properties as for their edible ones and the purely ornamental plants I've put in have been planted with an eye to having something in the front yard blooming at all seasons of the year -- a true year-round ornamental garden is my goal for the front yard and a year-round edible garden is my goal for the property as a whole.
I haven't attained these goals yet, but I'm working on them . . .