Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Family Affair

It used to be that the old timers checked the Farmer's Almanac for weather reports. Way back in the '50s of my early childhood, I vividly remember listening to Weatherman Bowman giving the day's weather report on the radio. Sometime over the years, he morphed into a scientist who explained to the television audience what Doppler weather was, then the weather person became a meteorologist  wearing a fashionable dress, tall, slim, blond, with graceful fingers pointing out weather patterns on a huge map, explaining and demonstrating the current and future weather patterns that just might have a major impact on the viewers' day, week, or month as tracked by satellite .  Today Colorado TV viewers can see the storm brewing far off the coast of California with its projected path animated showing where the storm will hit. Sometimes despite the marvels of technology, they still get it wrong.

So freezing cold temperatures and snow are predicted for this week; with those predictions come the warnings, the cautions, the "to do" lists: winterize the cars, winterized the campers, remove the hoses from the hydrants, etc. Well DAH! It is Colorado. It is November and while it is still Fall, yeah it gets cold and ugly. Some years. 

For those of us who garden, we also want to winterize our gardens, usually by fall feeding and mulching followed by some dead heading and pruning of perennials. I usually leave the seed heads on so that plants can reseed and as food for the birds.

This year, our tree hugger daughter insisted on winterizing the young trees that we have planted over the last few years. 

Come. Talk a walk around the Garden Spot one last time to see the trees now put to bed for a long winter's nap.

Even the kids got in on the work: Jacob and little Lily at least lent support.

While most of the family were out working, I was inside preparing lunch for the work crew, I missed out on part of the process:
  • First Heather had her dad removed sod from around the bottoms the trees. As a horticulturist who works for a tree care company, she does her research, now indicating that trees don't really like grass covering their root systems.
  • Next they added about 2 inches of shredded mulch.
  • She also mixed up an iron rich fertilizer for the tree to snack on over the winter.
  • Each tree truck was also wrapped with a layer of tree wrap, a heavy paper material.

Each tree tree was then wrapped with a protective covering of burlap. Three steel posts were pounded in to support the chicken wire that will cage the tree for the burlap blanket.

The tree circle around the baby apricot lots so neat.

The job really was a family affair.

Jennifer, thinking that she would cruse the antique stores in town, got put to work as this little cherry tree is ready for a warm blanket.

Zip ties secure both the chicken wire and the burlap.

At the end of the day, all of the little fruit tress were fed, mulched, and wrapped.

Now I know where my flannel sheet went. The peach should sleep snugly all winter.


Seems like a lot of work to go to; however, even though we bargain shop for trees, that purpose seems defeated if they winter kill. The Ash in the middle received new mulch and trunk wrap.


The Ash in back will need mulch, but the crew ran out-- someone didn't guesstimate accurately.

Baby Eastern Red Bud got a nice warm blanket, but no mulch. Heather noted that she recognized the blue blanket as the one she got as a child when I bought her new bedding.

Part of the winterizing process included a good dose of food. For her work blog, Heather writes that trees, while it looks like they are dormant through the winter, the roots are actually taking in food and storing carbohydrates for new leaf production and spring growth.


I said "Smile" and this is what I got. You can view this mosaic and many others (probably more artistic than this one) @Lavender Cottage for Mosaic Monday hosted by Judith. (I was also threatened not put these photos on the blog. HA.)

A big thank you, Heather. We do appreciate your hard work.
She did score a handful of allium bulbs for her hard work when we had to head to the garden center for more supplies. 

With the trees now properly winterized, the work is not done. Depending on how dry our winter is, they will need to be watered over the winter. If we get good amounts of wet snow, then they should winter over nicely without extra water. 

John and Elizabeth Howland have come to visit during November. They were on the Mayflower along with the other 100 original pilgrims. I am 13th (?) generation, so I am thankful for their bravery and strong will, giving our Thanksgiving special meaning.

I love my little turkeys. They are pompoms and felt. You can find the instructions on Martha Stewart's web site. Really fun to make with or for the grand kids.

I have to thank all of my new visitors for leaving kind comments who hopefully are finding me by way of Mosaic Monday. I have wanted to grow my blog some and I have picked up two new followers who I welcome to the Garden Spot. I always look for my old friends, appreciating their kindness as well.  I am not particularly good at answering back in email; instead, spending more time to leave good comments, which sometimes aren't so good because I do most of my commenting from the iPad. It has issues. 

Everyone has been kind in expressing condolences and sympathies with the passing of our family members. Thank you. 

Until next time, have a wonderful week. I hope your meteorologist predicts good weather for you. 


  1. Dear Ann,

    Hope the cold weather will stay away for you a little while longer! It's good to get so much help though, preparing everything for winter! Stay warm this week!

    Madelief x

  2. It's nice to get everyone in the family involved and looks like they did a great job....and also posed for photos! heehee! Love your Thanksgiving pretties and the candles. Things like they are so comforting when it gets cold outside. Enjoy your afternoon! We're watching a little football! Hugs, Diane

  3. Your family did a good job to protect the trees against the cold, they almost look snugly in their blankets.

  4. Hi Ann! Turkeys are so cute and your tree doctor daughter is amazing!

  5. Your daughter is very thorough with her tree winterization. I did something similar for a couple of years then told all the trees they were on their own now. Same goes for the perennials, if you can't tough out our winter, you're not meant to be in my gardens. ;-)
    It's nice that the family made this a group project.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Ann.

  6. How wonderful to have a daughter who is a professional. I am sure the trees will appreciate all the loving care they have been given to ensure their survival against your hard winters.

  7. A really interesting series of photos about preparing your young trees for the winter! I also learned useful things...
    In your home there is a lovely atmosphere of autumn and Thanksgiving and your little turkeys are so cute!
    Have a nice week!

  8. Well this was quite fascinating...I didn't know that young trees needed something like this.

    My family rarely poses the way that I want them to either, lol...

  9. So nice to work together as a family. And it looks like everybody had a good time.

  10. It is hard to plant new trees and get them to overwinter here...fruit trees no but some newer native ones we will plant next year again. We winterize ours against the critters. They can stand the snow and cold, but not the nibbles of the critters...what a bounty you will have in a few years.

  11. Hi Ann,

    This post is very interesting!! It doesn't typically get nearly as cold here in N.C. as it does in Colorado, but we had a cold winter last year, and I know many people who lost trees and shrubs. Because of that, I decided to plant a new hydrangea bush next spring instead of this fall. I had already read that I would need to do what your daughter did with your trees to my hydrangea if we should have a cold winter.

    It is amusing to watch the "meteorologists" on TV, isn't it? :) My husband and I always joke about our local weather woman -- she's pretty intense. I love your handmade turkeys -- they're adorable. I just LOVE this time of year.

    I hope you have a great week, Ann.

    Big hugs,

    Denise at Forest Manor

  12. I wonder if your "models" have planned their revenge for posting their photos! It looks like it was a very hardworking team attending to the trees.