On Saturday, I planted the 40 trees that arrived Thursday. It rained Friday night, and drizzled off and on throughout Saturday, which was good for the trees, but slightly less than comfortable for people. The Princess and the Pirate came out to help after I had finished the 10 Thuja, and was about 5 trees into the 30 Spartan Juniper. I dug all the holes, and the kids mixed the dirt with potting soil, and tossed it back into the holes. Then they removed all the wires and plastic bags, and then I let them help actually plant the trees. We ran out of dirt mix on the last two trees, so those got no potting soil, just native earth.
Yesterday after church, El Jefe put in the fencing to keep the deer off the new trees. We'll have to leave it up for a few years, because I put in #1 size plants - even though the Thuja could grow 2' per year or more, the juniper won't, and deer munching on them will kill them until they are rather larger. But eventually, we'll have two walls of trees that block the view of the house from the road, and vice versa. We hope.
I also got the rhubarb planted yesterday. Unfortunately, I could not get the manure I needed from the neighbors, because they weren't home, so I'll have to topdress it later. In the process, I discovered (because manure doesn't glitter) that the large pile next to the hoop house is not old manure left by the previous owners, but is, in fact, a pile of sand covered in grass and weeds that I dug through to make this discovery. This is frustrating, because the last thing I need in that hoop house is more sand.
Over the last several lovely days, El Jefe cleared much of the briar patch growing over the slab behind the house. (We believe it used to be a garage). Next step will be to remove the lower growing weeds coming up through the cracks (RoundUp is my friend), along with the leaves and the rest of the briars and trash trees (hawthorn) coming up around the slab. The Princess has been picking up broken glass, which is everywhere. She wears gloves. The Pirate hasn't been helping at that job, because she keeps losing her gloves at inopportune moments. One might almost think she plans this, except that it also happens just before jobs she actually DOES want to do.
The weather is back to normal today, sadly. We had patchy frost last night, according to the radio weather man, and the temp won't get out of the forties today. I'll have to see if any of the buds are left on the magnolia, or the blossoms on the cherry and apple trees. I'm afraid I'll be getting my apples for canning from the Ag School Fruit Sale again this year...
The sunrise was beautiful again, since the clouds cleared off last night. I drank my tea in the little green room off the balcony instead of going outside, because I didn't feel like braving the cold. I'm REALLY tempted to fire up the cookstove. Once it warms up a bit, I'll be trekking around the property with the lawn cart to all the areas I need to mow, to pick up all the stones and branches in hopes of getting the tractor out tomorrow to actually DO the mowing. Mowing in March - how bizarre!