Sunday, October 12, 2014


A new week--already? I have been struggling these days to come up with blog ideas that somehow are unique, different from what I have written about in the years past. So armed with my iPhone this morning, too lazy to walk downstairs to get the real camera, I set off to take photos of the trees at the Garden Spot since Trees in Fall are in the spotlight these days


When I took the photos from the cloud into Picasa for the mosaics for Mosaic Monday that Judith at Lavender Cottage hosts each Monday, I was in for a sad, but predicable discovery: poor quality.

Not to give up, I have used some of the iPhone photos for the collages. The clouds are hanging low, threatening rain, so the photos were dark. Once I applied Picasa magic to them, they are passable. The iPhone camera in the 5C does take rather nice photos of grand kids, dogs, walks in the park, and selfless, but it really will never replace my Canon Rebel or the Head Gardener's new point and shoot Canon.

None the less, here is what I came up with this morning: The Trees of the Garden Spot

Influenced by daughter Heather who hugs trees for living, I have found interest in mini trees. Not to be confused with traditional bonsai trees, these little trees are truly minis. The two top photos show the little cedar that I added to the fairy garden. It has a nice perspective next to the fairy house and tucked up next to the moss stone. You can see its ratio next to the strawberry ground cover leaves. I just hope it survives the winter. Heather has a neat trick of covering her minis with burlap to protect them from winter cold and snow. The bottom left little cedar demonstrates Mother Nature's urge to  reproduce. We have this little guy growing under the protective arms of one of the giant Austrian pines. The last photo in the mosaic is the mini pine that grows next to the water fall in the fairy garden in the from court yard. Heather's has grown to nearly 3 feet. I am wondering how big mine will get.

When we moved here, we loved the trees that others before us had planted, mostly pine trees. They grow fairly fast, relatively disease free, cheap, but I love leafy trees that change colors and have interesting leaves, and provide lots of shade. We also like fruit trees. The Spot already had fruitless crab apple trees that produce small, inedible fruit that the birds don't even eat and two mature apple trees. So we set about adding fruit trees: a dwarf cherry, two bargain apricot trees this year, and two peach trees. The second apple tree is loaded with small, but tasty Delicious apples, dragging its branches to ground under the weight of the apples.

We picked apples yesterday. Surprised at how many apples were blemish free, we were rather picky with the ones that we saved. Apples on the east side were the best, worm free, smooth, and blemish free, while the ones on the west side had hail damage and tended to have more worm holes.

I may have to make a pie and some apple sauce, too.

While they are festive looking, the fruit of the crab apple don't serve much of purpose. Smaller than the ones that my mother used to make jelly out of, I just let these go.

With most of their leaves gone, these new cherry trees planted early in the season look rather sad. They will be wrapped and Heather believes that our tender new fruit trees should be somehow protected with burlap. She will come up in a few weeks to help winterize the trees.

We have 3 ash trees that line the drive, two turn this dark purple. There is also another one on the other side of the house. I do like ash trees, but we may end up  losing them. Those who live back east may be familiar with the emerald ash bore, a beetle that destroys ash trees. It has been discovered in Boulder, CO about 60 miles east of us. We are not treating for that bore yet; the tree hugger daughter will let us know when we have to start preventative treatments.

In front garden circle, the eastern red bud planted this summer has done well. I am excited to see it bloom next spring. Fingers crossed, but not relying on superstition and luck, we will wrap this tree's trunk, heavily mulch it something, and maybe even dress it in burlap. I have never had a red bud last more than two seasons. I am thinking lack of water over the winter. In the recent past, we have had very dry winters which may be harder on plant material than the freezing cold. 

So there you have it, a few of our favorite trees. 

Another iPhone photo taken on the walking path last Tuesday as Jen, Lily, and I took a long walk after dropping the older girls off at school. Jen will be volunteering at school on Tuesdays, so she took her training while I sat with Lily.  I took this one because I like the way the early morning sunlight filtered through the trees.

Not such a good iPhone photos of ducks on the pond next to the trail. . .

but a decent one of the pond reflection of the trees with the early morning sun casting long shadows.

I love this photo taken with new point and shoot Canon. First Prize has grown tall this summer and presents this beautiful bouquet against the burning bush in the back that will turn blaze red by the end of the season.

Veteran's Pride is really a much deeper red than she ever photographs, but lovely none the less.

Another iPhone photo, St. Patrick suffered this summer, never seeming to catch up with the other roses.  Last winter was a rough one for the little girls in the courtyard.

Conclusion: Take the time and the extra steps to get the real camera. 

Looks to be a quiet day. I am going to update the dollhouse blog, work on the dollhouse, do some laundry, fix a good soup for lunch all with the Broncos playing the Jets in the background. Sounds like they are having a hard time.  I will be updating the dollhouse blog, too. Check it out, if you have time.

Looks like a quiet week ahead. The Head Gardener will be out east helping our farmer friends harvest millet. I will be back on chore duty. 

Hope you have a great week. Thanks for visiting.


  1. Alot of these photos are quite good : ) Sometimes I think it just depends on the lighting and time of day.
    I love the reflections in the water with the ducks...

    As to apples, I just made apple pies this morning! :) There's a blog called House Honeys and she just posted a pie recipe last week that I remembered so I tried it out...very good. I used my own brands etc but followed the basics of the recipe.

  2. You made a lovely walk where several mature trees are shown on the pictures. Can you imagine how beautiful your own still small trees will show after about 5 to 10 years.....Even the trees in the fairy garden will grow tall. You have already a wonderful lot of apples, delicious for applepie.
    Wish you a happy week with lovely fall weather.

  3. One of the loveliest trees we have had is a Weeping Ash, I don't know if you know of it?

  4. What a nice post! I love all the trees and your apples are fantastic! The roses are gorgeous..I had to go back and enjoy the photos twice.

  5. Your trees are lovely! I thought the birds liked the crabapples. We love our redbud, it is beautiful in the spring! Wonderful images, enjoy your week!

  6. You have many nice trees! Once I walked around our 1/2 acre, documenting and counting trees and came up with 30. I thought that was quite a lot for a small space. Your apple tree has beautiful apples. We tried to grow them in the past but they were wormy without spraying, and I didn't care to spray something I was going to eat.

  7. Very nice Ann and I would not stress too much over what to blog with. Just take what is before you and go with it. I live out in the middle of God's country and sometimes it is what ;)...and then I just point and shoot ;)

  8. I think we all go through a phase where we step back from our blog for a bit and it helps to rekindle the interest for most. So many trees and I really like the minis. At one time we could buy spiced crab apples in a jar and my mother used to serve them with ham but I haven't seen them for years.
    Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday.

  9. Blogging ideas come and go for all of us at times. Writing about your favorite trees is a great idea. We've recently planted several fruit trees - growing things to eat just seems to make a lot of sense.

  10. Most times I grab my camera but lately I've been grabbing my phone like you, only I can't get my phone and my tablet to synch. Love the little trees and great idea for the garden. I bring all my mini gardens in the house over Winter, don't leave them outside, however I did winter a young tree once and I purchased a styrofoam for a mini rose bush, then put leaves and straw around the little tree and put the lid on. As for the crab apple they look festive for sure, lots of people make crab apple jelly, just an idea

  11. I adore trees and loved seeing yours especially the small ones...and those apples wow.

  12. Nice selection of trees. The fairy garden sounds so cute. Loved the apple tree shots.

  13. Hi momma. Don't fret about the emerald Ash borer. It's treatable by a homeowner for trees up to a 15" diameter with over the counter products. We can do that one weekend when the time comes. We will need tree wrap and wood chips. Wood chips rather than mulch are being determined to be of better benefit to trees. Electrical tape and perhaps some hardware cloth for the fruit trees.

    For color perhaps a few ginnala maples and some black choke berry bushes. Some of the viburnums and serviceberries have wonderful fall color too.

  14. The roses are wonderful and I can't believe how beautiful they still are. But I love love love all your trees. Our daughter and sil have several mini fruit trees on their five acres .... a couple kinds of apples, that pear apple thing, and some plums. They're pretty and prolific with fruit. I need to get over there and take some pictures now that we're back in Oregon again.

    Looking at the comment above mine here and thinking how lucky you are to have an arborist for a daughter!

  15. Hello Ann, I am delighted to find out through your blog that you are my swap partner for the letter swap. What a great discovery to go (quickly) through your posts and to get aware that we have plenty of things in common. I am right now busy to paint the floor boards in our guestroom and therefore will not be able before next week to write to you but be certain that there will be mail from Belgium.

    1. I am excited to get ot know about you. As I read your profile, yes we do have much in common. I will wrting soon, too.

  16. Your red apples look nice and shiny; looks like quite a bit of cooking ahead. I made some applesauce at the weekend. Apple pie is on the menu for the weekend!

  17. Hi Ann,

    I enjoyed seeing your trees and the last of your summer roses. The miniature trees are so interesting; I've never heard of those before, but I do love your fairy gardens. :) I've heard of ash trees of course, but I've never been sure what they look like. I'll have to be on the lookout for them now. I had not heard of this emerald ash bore; what we're seeing here in our mountains is that the hemlocks are diseased and dying at pretty high rates. I'm not sure what will, or can, be done about that.

    I really hope you have success with your eastern redbud this time, Ann. They truly are one of my very favorite trees. They're in bloom everywhere here in the spring, and it really is a glorious sight. :) Is your crabapple tree a flowering crabapple? We had one years ago at our house in Greensboro. It had probably been there for many years, as it was big. The crabapples were the larger kind, and they made a big mess when they fell on the grass and sidewalk. But...the tree was just beautiful when it was in bloom.

    I hope you're enjoying lovely fall weather where you are. :) It's really nice here today, but we've had some cloudy rainy days earlier this week. Have a great weekend, and thank you for your visits this week!



  18. Oh my! Your mini trees are absolutely beautiful. Despite the bad weather, I do agree that the photos look better. Maybe if they were taken in the softer lights of early morning or the afternoon, then those close ups would look even more beautiful. Anyway, thank you so much for sharing them! I hope you're in the best of health this fall. Happy gardening!

    Mike Gurung @ Bay Area Tree Specialists