This is what it looked like just before I left:
Voila, three weeks later:
This is the bed along Watson that was nailed by the limbs of the pine. Not much left of the Hemlock sadly, it had to go. I did the branches, lumberjack man Kevin cut down the rest leaving a nice low stump. Oh, and looking just behind, see that gigantic Ash tree....the one with the dead limbs...the one that needs to be removed in fairly short order before it's a hazard because it's infested with Emerald Ash Borer....(when dead, they rot at the base at the soil line) well I've asked for quotes. You know you're in trouble when the arborist begins to giggle when he sees it and then says, "5 feet from one house. 10 feet from the other house. It's enormous. There's no place to drop the limbs, they all have to be roped and removed. We're going to have to get a permit to stage on MacDonald Road from the town. We'll have to bring the crane in this way. You'll have to remove these plants if you want to keep them (a giant sweep of his hand as he gestures a third of a the way through a big flower bed). And the crane will have to go here (pointing to vegetable bed). We'll need to hire steel pads to protect your lawn somewhat. The limbs will have to come up over your roof. Yes, we have insurance. No haven't had to use it, yet." And, it will cost $10,000. So, I've postponed the work until November, so I can grow enough vegetables to begin saving for it all.
And, here's the vegetable garden, all planted and growing.
And here is the kale, one down, 9 to go.
While I was working on the bed, I found a few things that had been hidden by the Hemlock. (Imagine a big fat evergreen in the middle of the bed)
Is this a fancy Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum' that I'd planted years ago, or has my gigantic patch mutated into this pretty specimen?
On one hand, the Mahonia looks pretty sad, but on the other, I've been able to cut it back to living sprouts and knock the dead leaves off. My they're fierce, they seem to poke right though my gloves.
A came-with-the-house - so probably over 50 years old plant - Calycanthus really took a whack. It is on its borderline of hardiness here. Glad it's had the odd really good year, because 90% was killed in the cold.
Lest I start feeling too sorry for myself, just want to share a bit of the dead from the neighbourhood - what surprises me is how old and established these specimens were, and yet they were unable to survive the winter:
So much for thinking Ilex is always hardy.
And if we're looking at holly, here's a bit of ivy:
I've never seen a whole Taxus hedge decide to pack it in all at once. Almost want to get out a can of paint to return it to its normal state of green.
But it's not all doom and gloom, after all the Clematis are starting to bloom.
Just like they were in Hidcote a week or so ago:
and what's a little Clematis without a little Wisteria:
I'm thinking that I'm going to go out and put my Clematis out of its misery. Who knew the torture I was inflicting. Perhaps we should send all our Clematis to Hidcote. Let me know if you want me to add yours to the box.
And with the empty space I'll plant lots more Hosta like this new treasure 'Wheee!' (yes, three 'E' and and exclamation mark).
and 'Empress Wu' who is starting to look quite regal and large in year three.
and H. montana macrophylla
and this lovely, tag-gone blue Hosta with the leaves of a Cornus alternafolia:
and maybe a few more native ferns:
But until I can dig them all up and pack them in a box, there's a bit more gardening to get done - this is the lovely big centre bed where the Town did work last year:
I'll take a photo post-clean-up maybe lying on my stomach if I can't get up.
Until then, I'll leave you with Kevin and Bart at the Bean this a.m. I'm off to the garden.