This might have to become a new thing for me on here, as I'm really getting into taking care of my own place. At least mostly… Cleaning things isn't so exciting (but I do like what comes after), but I am stoked about the yard!
A few weeks ago when I was still getting ready to be married and running errands with my mom, we went to Costco and I saw a most beautiful sight: baby fruit trees! I grew up with an orchard, and even though I didn't always enjoy harvesting the fruit (I HATE pie cherries), I always enjoyed having fruit on hand.
Fast-forward a few weeks to being married (the other day), and needing to make a grocery run. Until we get things organized, I can only go to Costco with Husband Man in tow, so we did just that. And to my amazement, there were still a lot of baby fruit trees! $12 is a pretty great price for being able to grow your own fruit, so we came home with a baby Rainier cherry tree. We couldn't plant it that late at night, so I resigned myself to going to work the next morning. What with the nasty wind and rain storms we've been having, I was thinking it might be a few days before I could plant the baby tree.
Well! As it turned out, about an hour before I was to get off work on Tuesday, the clouds all but left, leaving me with very soft ground to work with. So, one quick run to the hardware store later (I needed a shovel!), I set to work digging a hole in the front yard! …only to learn that the two big brown spots on the lawn are where huge trees were cut down and the stumps were ground down to about a half-foot under the lawn's surface, so they'll not be viable tree-planting places for another year or three.
Not to be deterred, after some reading up on good places to plant trees where there are existing root systems (however dead), I walked a few paces away from one of the buried bark piles and sunk my shovel into dirt. I have to say, digging holes was one of my favorite things to do as a kid, so it felt pretty great throwing all of my weight into the shovel this time in order to dig a hole for the waiting baby tree. Made struggling with the long hose worth it, really. (I'm quickly learning that being short and dealing with long, new garden hoses must make for comedy gold for any spectators.)
Once I had a deep enough hole, I placed the baby tree in its new home…and then it didn't feel right just chucking out the grass that I had displaced, so I used it to create a cover around the roots of the tree. I'm glad I did, as the next morning we awoke to frost, so it was somewhat reassuring knowing the baby tree has some protection against the cold. (Doesn't hurt cherry trees are supposed to be pretty tolerant of cold, too.)
It feels really silly, but every time the wind has picked up, or even late last night when the rain came back with a vengeance, I keep peeking outside at my baby cherry tree. I really want it to thrive and do well, so I keep checking it. I actually wanted to post all about it the other day, but I didn't want to gush all about it only for it to keel over and die, so I've been waiting to see signs of life. When we initially brought it home, it was covered in buds, a few just starting to open, revealing baby leaves. Well, this morning I walked outside and saw that more buds are starting to open, so I'd say that's a good sign!
Here's my silly baby tree that I am so happy about. It has liked the fact that it has been getting plenty of sun since I brought it home (better than being kept in a warehouse for the past month or so), and it seems last night's torrential downpour didn't overwater it, either. At the moment the tree stands a bit taller than I am. From what I have read, no trimming should happen its first year, but come next winter, I'm supposed to cut the branches back pretty far. Almost makes me feel bad.
Here's a closeup of some of the leaves starting to open. It's almost stupid how happy this made me to see, but there's just something about taking something and helping it to thrive. Plus, in a few short years, provided the neighbor's slightly older cherry trees cross-pollinate it, it ought to give us delicious fruit!
And here's a quick photo of the front of my house, complete with stupid hose, and Narnia-esque lamp shadow. We need to do something about the lamp, as its concrete base is all busted up and just sitting there, not keeping the base protected from the elements. Might get rid of it, but it is pretty nice having a light source in the front yard at night…
I'm pretty happy Spring is coming, too. Might actually break down and get another baby fruit tree if they are still available. I'm not sure if the neighbor's trees will cross-pollinate mine, plus homegrown fruit is the best! And sweet cherries are also the best candy one can get their hands on, when it is freshly picked from the tree. Gah, waiting a few years for this tree to be old enough to bear fruit is going to be hard! For now, I'll keep babying my baby tree and watching it grow. And maybe I'll get it a buddy soon.
For now, I ought to do exciting things like laundry and scrubbing up the toilets. Whoo.