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Musings About Family, Travel And Gardening With Allen Martinson.

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Take a Trip and Never Leave the Farm!


MAY IS UPON US. Mother’s Day is a few days away. I’m hoping by now that you have found the easiest place to Mother’s Day shop is at a garden center. Most moms like to garden so a gift certificate or a custom planted pot for her will do the trick. Even moms that want nothing to do with the yard are in luck. At Garden Works we have kitchen and bathroom along with home decor and houseplants. You should give a local store a chance, my bet is you are going to come away with a gift that is unique and fun to give.


Mimi and I just had one of the funnest kind of day in our yard. We didn’t have the tree guys come out last year so we had a lot of things on a list that were going to make big changes to our yard. We took down two big trees, one oak that had begun its decline, the other a pond cypress that was crowding things up and causing shade in all the wrong places. Removing those two were huge difference makers but all the other limbing, topping, pruning combined made our yard look huge. The amount of light we get now is going to change the plants we can use for the summer months. We each took the day off so we could be there to watch the incredible changes while the happened. We have used these guys every time in our yard and at Garden Works because there is no way anyone could do it better. We use Tea Tree Service on every landscape job that we have to sub that kind of work done. We know that they will always treat a person’s yard with respect, they always have the newest most updated equipment and we know that they know how to use it.


WHEN THEY ARRIVED it was like they already had their game plan laid out, they started unhooking and unloading and heading off in the direction that had first priority. Some of the group headed out into the yard to do some of the smaller jobs on the list while the others were hooking up to the massive oak tree. That tree had a pretty narrow place for it to fall. I knew I wouldn’t have to worry, I’ve seen these guys do some amazing drops. This time was no different, he put that tree right where he wanted it to go and immediately started chopping it into pieces that could be moved. I was lucky I had a huge pile of topsoil leftover from another project. The guy on the skid steer put that soil where the tree was removed leaving me a small area where we will plant a smaller tree. While the guys were hitting the the things on our list Mimi and I roved around the yard getting our list done. We had some bushes to plant. Mimi found some golden sumac that we found a spot for 9. They should be gorgeous with their bright, gold foliage in the fall. We had some yews that needed replacing and lots of bedding plants for punctuation. We put in 52 flats of 4 inch cascading vinca. We used colors that contrasted and some that matched the coral drift roses behind them. We had time to get everything watered in and got finished late in the day, about the time the tree guys got finished.


I love to give these guys some deer meat when they come to my place, they seem to love it. I honestly don’t know how they stay so level headed and cool with all the craziness going on during a project like this. There were limbs coming down, trees coming down, saws buzzing, back up warning beepers going off, it was mayhem. The amount of work that they did and the transformation that our yard went under is mind boggling. Sometimes money isn’t much fun to spend on the have-to’s in life. Taking down a couple trees in your yard because they seem like they will cause problems down the road is not fun. Changing the skyline and making way for a more impressive sight and shaping trees into interesting shapes is transformative and one of the funnest projects we’ve had in a while.



The money we spent to have this done was far less than a landscape rearrangement would have cost us, and the bang just as great. We cut a few wires that lead to some of my tree lighting so while I wandered around the yard trying to find the cuts I realized that I need to call our guy who does our lights to come help me reconfigure a few things now that everything is so different. I cut the entire left side of our front yard and my driveway lights while I was building the massive beds under my Live Oaks. I’ve been scratching my head over that one for 3 weeks now, time to call in the professionals! We probably have spent our vacation money on this project but when your place is like a vacation home it really doesn’t bother us that bad.


I hope you can find time to walk around in your yard and look up to see if there is anything that you can do to make your place be one that you love enough to get to the point that you can’t get home fast enough from the grind to breath a little.

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