Friday, July 21, 2017

Garden Project of 2017 - The Solution


In my first post on the Garden Project of 2017, I spoke about the "why" - namely, eliminating the need for chicken wire fencing around Area #2 by transitioning those beds from vegetables to ornamental.

BTW, if you find yourself saying "I don't recall seeing that post", I'm not surprised since I goofed when posting it.  I inadvertently hit "publish" before the post was ready and then promptly reverted it to a draft.  What I didn't realize was that when I did eventually publish, it would post as of the original date, which in this case was 3 days earlier.  Oops.  Next time this happens (and we all know there will be a next time, don't we), I'll have to remember to copy and paste to a new post.

Now, back to the topic at hand - this years garden project.  Since the beds in Area #2 will become cutting flower beds, I will need to build four new vegetable beds elsewhere.  The best solution is to expand Area #1 but this involves dealing with a couple of issues:  (1) two large spruce trees growing right in the middle of where the expansion would be and (2) lack of privacy.


The Issue of the Spruce Trees

The 25’ spruce trees are not only healthy and beautiful, but they also provide our backyard with much needed privacy from the street and the neighbour’s driveway.  My initial thought was that there was only one solution - cut down the existing trees and replant new trees closer to the street.  But the cost of replacement trees even half the size of the current ones is steep, in the $600+ range per tree.  And then there is the cost of removing the existing trees, which are much too large for us to tackle ourselves, adding another $600 or more to the project.

You can see the spruce trees in the following photo:

Facing south along the west border
Look closely:  That yellow bit near the bottom of the spruce tree on the right is the arborist!

Then I heard about large tree transplanting.  I didn’t even think that was possible until I came across several companies that offered this service for trees up to 30’ tall.  Not all trees are suitable for moving but, luckily, spruce are great candidates.

In the process of transplanting the first tree

With this option, we keep the existing trees, Area #1 is opened up for expansion and we end up with mature trees in the perfect spot at the front of our property.   A win-win-win.

This is not an inexpensive option but it’s less costly than the alternative and we don’t have to wait years for much smaller trees to mature.

Front Yard Facing West - Before

Front Yard Facing West - After

The Issue of Privacy

Although relocating the spruce trees to the front of the property does provide some privacy from the street, it leaves us wide open when it comes to the neighbours driveway.  There's also the bunny problem to contend with - I still need to have some sort of enclosure to keep the bunnies out of the veg garden.

The most obvious solution is to install some sort of privacy fencing but I prefer a softer, less conspicuous option.  The answer is to use landscaping.  Taller specimens would provide privacy and I'll be able to camouflage the still-necessary chicken wire with shrubs and perennials.  This would also be the most satisfying way to accomplish my goals – what gardener doesn’t love planning, shopping for and planting up a new bed?

Facing South along west border after moving trees

The photo above represents the "before" photo (after moving the trees).  A new ornamental border will go along the property line from the transplanted spruce (just out of camera range on the right) to the shed (the grey structure in the middle of the photo).  The small bed on the right in the photo (which is currently a holding bed for a few small cedars, a Diablo Ninebark and a tiny Abelia) will be incorporated into the new border and the plants will be moved to their permanent homes.  The north edge of the expanded veg area will be just beyond the apple trees (with the white bark protectors).

I’m planning on using a mixture of tall shrubs, grasses and narrow cedars as the “bones” of the border.  These will perform several important functions:  (1) provide privacy; (2) hide the chicken-wire fencing around the veg garden and (3) be aesthetically pleasing, both from the backyard/veg garden and from the street/neighbours driveway.

I’ll then focus on incorporating pollinator attracting perennials, both herbs and ornamentals.  I’ll also be leaving enough room in the borders to add some annuals each year.  The finished borders will have both full sun and partly shaded areas which means that I’ll be able to experiment with a wide variety of plants – I’m so looking forward to that!

Up next:  The Plan

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” ~~ Robert Brault

14 comments:

  1. That's a huge transplanting job. The trees don't look as though they know that they have been moved. Exciting times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a revelation when I found out that transplanting was possible and the company we hired did an amazing job. As for the trees themselves, so far so good!

      Delete
  2. Such excitement!

    Have you thought of using berry vines and berry shrubs to cover the chicken wire?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am actually planning on incorporating a couple of berries but have not yet settled on which ones. I'm leaning towards nanking cherry or perhaps currant? Decisions, decisions!

      Delete
  3. Wow, I didn't know you'd be able to transplant such mature trees, I'm glad you could though, it would have been such a shame to just dispose of such beautiful trees.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It never occurred to me either until I started looking for companies that sold mature spruce trees and ran across a couple of companies that provided this service. Now all I have to do is make sure they stay well watered for the next couple of years - fingers crossed that they settle into their new home without issue!

      Delete
  4. Planning and dreaming is fun but that sure does sound like a lot of work and patience and expense! Good luck! Nancy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's definitely a lot of work and patience, but other than moving the trees, it's not too much of an expense. Well, maybe I should hold off on commenting on that until after I visit the nursery when it's time to plant up the borders - I have a feeling I will have a hard time holding back!

      Delete
  5. "large tree transplanting" - never heard of it, but a great idea! It looks like it worked well, and they are looking healthy in the new spot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd never heard of it either so it never would have occurred to me to search for it. It was simply luck that I stumbled across a company that did this.

      Delete
  6. Nice choice! I like the after picture. I hope the spruces settle in happily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have had plenty of rain lately - not great for the garlic with the bad case of rust, but wonderful for the spruce!

      Delete
  7. Wonderful! I didn't realize you could relocate large trees like that, either. As you say, it probably depends on the species, the particular tree, and other issues. That front area looks great with the Spruce trees relocated! And it sounds like you have some good plans for the other areas. I'll look forward to your next post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love how the trees look in their new home. The company we hired did an amazing job, right down to the mulching and staking - I was so impressed. After a relatively dry start, our weather has been decidedly wet lately, so the timing on this move was pretty good.

      Delete

I appreciate and thoroughly enjoy all of your lovely comments :) Please note that in order to foil those pesky spammers, comment moderation has been enabled for older comments.