Saturday, October 13, 2007

Kousa Dogwood

I went to Salsbery Nursery today looking for a new tree to plant. The people there were very helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. They still had a good selection of plants and things looked pretty healthy. I wasn't sure what I wanted so I went with an open mind. I selected a Kousa dogwood tree for several reasons.
It was small enough to fit in my SUV, the price was good, I liked the shape of the young tree, it looked healthy, I like dogwoods and didn't have any. I like that it has spring flowers, pretty fall colors and berries for the birds. I am very pleased with this selection, I just hope it lives. I was told to plant the top of the root ball just above soil level, which I did. He said to mix a good soil in with the soil I dig up for the tree, I had a bag of shrub and tree soil already waiting for the new tree. It needs soil that is slightly acidic so he said I need to add sulphur twice a year.

While I had the dirt nice and soft, I planted daffodils in clusters of three all around the base of the tree. I will definitely be anticipating this spring show of flowering dogwood and daffodils.

My husband and son graciously skipped ballgame time to go and get two loads of mulch from the recycling center. I got most of it spread out. It is amazing how much mulch it takes. We still need a lot more. Hopefully this week we can get the rest mulched.

I worked until after dark cleaning up in the front flower beds. I cut the spirea to the ground again this year. It had gotten much too large for the front flower bed, so last year I cut it back to the ground not really caring if it died, since I didn't like it in the front bed anyway. However, it came back and I liked the smaller size and the constant summer blooming, so I let it stay. I also pulled up all of the coleus and some of the taller, leggy impatiens. It will frost soon, possibly this weekend, so they aren't going to last much longer anyway. It is very hard for me to pull up a plant that is still flowering though.

I also emptied the planters on the front porch railing, and nearly choked on the dried up dirt. It was PITIFUL! That chore should have been done weeks ago. It was so nice to be outside again and was a perfect day for fall yard work. We haven't had too many perfect days lately, so I enjoyed this one immensely. To top it off, while I was working a lady was walking by and told me that I must be a master gardener her like her mom, because my yard was so beautiful. That compliment really made my day.


Kylee said...

Oh you'll love your Kousa dogwood! This is the second summer for ours and it's lovely. I was concerned about ours making it through our wacky winter and spring last year, but it performed like a champ. Adding to my concern was that it was grown in Georgia, as stated on its tag and evidenced by the red soil in the root ball. Very different growing conditions than here! But not to worry - it's doing fine and I'm sure yours will, too, as you have gotten it off to a great start!

Oh, and I have daffodils at the base of mine, too! ('Tete-a-tete') :-)

Carolyn gail said...

You should be as grinning like the Cheshire Cat, Robin. Not only is the Kousa beautiful for all the reasons you stated the Asian dogwood is sturdier than our native Cornus Florida , it blooms later and avoids the killing freezes and frosts. It's also more resistant to disease than the Florida . So, yeah, great job !

You can also add used coffee grounds around your dogwood to provide the acid it loves.

verobirdie said...

I have just discovered your blog and it was a nice visit. Thanks for those beautiful pictures.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Kylee, mine must have come from Georgia, (or Alabama)too because the root ball was red clay. Hopefully it will do well here. Funny that you planted daffodils around the base of your too.

Carolyn Gail, I was pleased with my choice, but now am even more so, thanks to your thumbs-up. I think I will take your suggestion and use coffee grounds instead. It's much easier for me to do that and we always have plenty of grounds here.

verobirdie, welcome to my blog and thank you so much for visiting and taking the time to leave a comment.