Filling Holes

The new Cherry tree in the Azalea garden. It blooms a very pretty pink. 


Monday posts always remind me of going back to school and writing the “What I did on my summer vacation” essay. Right? That little ritual of remembering and sharing. . . and each Monday I face this blog and think, “What DID I do this weekend?”

Usually, whatever it is I’m doing, I forget to bring the camera along. But today there are a few photos of my finished work. We’ve had astounding weather (perfection for the opening day of the Astoria Sunday Market) and we spent the majority of time working in the yard. 

I attempted to pull grass out of the azalea beds. No easy task, friends. Grass, while I can never get it grow like it should in my lawn, thrives where it is unwanted! And removing it is a beastly job. I wish I had some clever trick to tell you how to do it best, but honestly, it’s just hard labor. Lots and lots of pulling.

We also removed a dying azalea from the garden. I say, we, because I supervised. IZ decided it left too much of hole in the front planter, so we went in search of the perfect replacement. It’s not an easy task, when the other plants in the garden are so well established. Most azaleas sold in these parts are in small gallon containers, and it will be an easy 5-10 years before they mature to the size of the rest of the stand. So, we opted to put in something different.

Besides, does the Pacific Northwest need ONE more azalea bush? I don’t think so.


Oops… I under estimated the amount of mulch I needed. Back to the garden center for me. 


We found our way to  Dennis’7Dees in Seaside and put our questions to their in house arborist, Aaron. If I do have a handy tip, it’s “talk to an arborist.” Truthfully, I see too many people putting plants in their yards with no real thought to what that plant will be come in 5-10 years. We’re repairing a retaining wall because the former owners planted a deeply rooting mock-orange in the wrong place and the root system did a number on the wall. 

It seems a bit self-explanatory, except that garden centers and nurseries are beguiling. It’s so easy to get swept away and fall in love with the most beautiful of plants only to find you have no plan when you get home. I’ve done it more times than I can count! But mis-planting something is a mistake that can be costly. So, finding a trained professional, who knows what that adorable little tree is going to look like when it’s all grown up, is a good idea. And as Aaron pointed out, “Our information is free!”— good garden centers are happy to help you make the right choice and dig you out of any jam you might find yourself in. 

We had a pretty specific list of qualifications as well. We wanted something that flowers, preferably a tree. We needed it to not get too tall or have a huge root system. Oh, and it really needed to be pink. Not an easy list to fulfill. 

Fortunately, Aaron had just the right tree. And then I think he braced himself for our inevitable sticker-shock. But, the right plant for this space is crucial. Replacing a retaining wall is much more expensive reality. And besides, “It would make a lovely 22nd Anniversary gift,” I suggested.

And so it did. It’s a bit early. We celebrate 22 years in a month, but perfection doesn’t wait. And holes need to be filled. 


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