Wednesday, May 13, 2015

It's A Mess But Ya Gotta Start Somewhere

I took a bunch of pictures to chronicle our deck demolition as we go.


Here's the deck from the south side.  We've had flower beds on the front and both east and west ends.


I fondly remembered Bridal Wreath hedges from my childhood and was told the Nine-Bark bushes would be much the same.  Not so much.  We planted a row of Nine-Bark along all three edges of the deck.  Grow thick they did higher than the deck railing, but needed nearly constant pruning to keep them looking nice.  I didn't like the pruning I had to do three times each growing season.  Last fall, I cut them all down to practically the nubbity-nubs knowing we were going to move them this spring.  (I cut them down once before and they grew back stronger than ever.)


This is the west end of the deck with a Sugar Maple growing next to it.


I love the maple tree, but over the years the blasted birds have practically killed it by pecking at the bark.  Hubby thinks they go after the sweet sap.  We've tried painting the bark with organic coatings as deterrents, but the birds pay no attention and have not been deterred.  So, (sob) the tree is scheduled to come out.


One of the reasons the maple tree has to go is that we have grown to despise dislike the steps coming off the deck on this corner angle.  So we are moving my clothesline poles (which enable me to hang clothes out on the deck) over to the middle of that side of the deck and in the new design the stairs will come off right between the uprights.  Hence, maple tree must go.


Another sad tree story.  This was a Nanny Berry tree off the southeast corner of the deck.  The main part of the tree died (possibly committed suicide one winter), but shoots came up from the roots.  We now have  a Nanny Berry bush.  Since then, the tree bush has never gotten any of the attractive berries.


A third (is there no end?) sad tree story.  In the flower bed at the east end of the deck is an ornamental flowering crab apple tree that has never, ever flowered.  Either it was mislabeled when we purchased it, or it needs another of its kind for cross-pollenation.  Again, this tree has to go because we are putting another set of stairs off the deck (moving the other set of clothesline poles) and this tree is smack-dab in the way of that set of stairs.

The pots of plants you see helter-skelter on the deck are plants I wanted to save from the flower beds.

All the flower beds were delineated by 6" x 6" timbers which are pretty well on their way to compost after being up close and personal with the soil for nearly 20 years.  The beds on both the east and west ends of the deck are being eliminated, and a larger (in an effort to eat up lawn that has to be mowed) bed will be constructed on the south in front of the deck.

Got all that?  It's a start and something we can work on until this crazy, cold weather of ours (we had a heavy frost this morning) decides to turn appropriate for planting in the garden.  

30 comments:

Undomestic Diva said...

oh wow it's looking great already :) can you come to England to do mine?; ) I'm a terrible gardener lol

Mama Pea said...

Undomestic Diva - Well . . . I have always wanted to see England, Scotland and Wales. ;o}

Patricia @ Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

I hate to hear sad tree stories! I have many of those to tell myself...
storms, pests, and mostly drought cause us to have to chop and remove. We use what we can for things around the place, posts, firewood, decorative framing of walks or beds, you know in order to give back.
The rest is usually burned. :/
Your deck looks like quite the project.
I do understand needing a proper place to hang clothes.
I had that issue for years!
I'll watch from here-- I don't want to get in the way. ;)

Tami said...

I'll be watching your deck progression with interest. I teased SM just the other day of "Our Never Ending Deck Project." We started working on ours this time last year. Hopefully, your with get finifshed in a more timely manner @;)

Tami said...

"yours will get finished"

sorry...4:30am and no caffene in the blood stream yet...

Sue said...

I wouldn't be sad about those trees (shrubs?) Sounds like you had problems with all of them and this is just the excuse you need to finally admit the best course of action. Wow-that sounded official, didn't it!?!
I was able to hang clothes on the deck at our place in the U.P.--it was terrific--close by, no trudging through the muck of spring. I don't dare ask hubby to move my clothesline closer to the house here---his endless "to-do" list is already stretched into the YEARS. It's never ending, isn't it?
I'll excited for you--at least stuff on YOUR list gets done..........

Ilene Jones said...

We have some sad tree stories, too, due to rabbits and Peach Tree Borers. The beat goes on. I hope you don't have as much trouble moving those bushes as I am having moving Crape Myrtle. Yikes!

Lisa said...

Sounds like a great plan! Look forward to seeing the progress and how it will be finished and landscaped. It will be beautiful, I know!

DFW said...

Sounds like a huge project & a lot of work. I too find it hard to get rid of plants even if they are not 'producing' as they should. Good luck with the remodel, looking forward to seeing your progress.

Mama Pea said...

Patricia - When we first moved here and started our gardens, we had to take down several huge evergreens and birches which was really, really hard for me. But it had to be done. (Needless to say, we used them all as firewood to warm us in the winter.)

I love the fact that even in winter, after I shovel off the deck it dries in short order and I don't even have to put on boots to go out to hang clothes!

Mama Pea said...

Tami - That's the bugaboo with these projects. They NEVER proceed to completion as quickly as you would think they would, could or should! Yours is beautiful and you and SM have done a wonderful job on it.

Mama Pea said...

Tami - I'm sitting here at 8:19 a.m. and still having trouble typing! WITH latte.

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Your statement about the trees actually made me feel better! Kind of like a pat on the back and a "you go ahead and do that, honey, it's the right thing!" :o}

Mama Pea said...

Ilene Jones - I really wanted to just dig the Nine-Bark out and toss them, but hubby insists on relocating them. Like he doesn't have enough work lined up already???

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - Oh, how I hope you're right! I can decorate inside a house but I'm really weak on outside landscaping!

Mama Pea said...

DFW - I'm the same way. And hubby is worse! He refuses to eliminate most plants, trees, shrubs, etc. that have been half-dead for years. I eventually get tired of looking at them and give them a decent burial!

Susan said...

Too bad about your trees. Why is it that the plants you despise flourish with abuse, while the ones you lovingly tend to barely eke by? At least that's how it is on my little patch. I can see why you wouldn't like the steps - if I wasn't paying attention, I'd go straight....off.

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

A very large project!!! I would more than likely move the tree's because there to close to the house for me. I say this because, one of our older homes had a tree up against the house, the roots caused havoc with the plumbing in the house. So I always hesitate having a tree too close to the house.
I look forward to reading your upcoming posts while you work on your back deck. I know you, and your husband work hard on your property, and in the end this deck will look amazing.

Undomestic Diva said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Undomestic Diva said...

Great stuff! So i'll see you soon? ;) haha :D xx

Kristina said...

My redbud tree died, so I have to dig it up (sad face). I also dug up two rose bushes that blocked the mailbox number. I cut them down to the bottom, so it will be interesting if they live or not. That's interesting about the sugar maple. I've always wanted to plant one.

Mama Pea said...

Susan - The maple and (non)flowering crab got yanked out by the roots today. The maple was right outside a kitchen window and, boy howdy, does that window ever look bare now!

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - Yikes, that's a good point about the roots of trees too close to the house causing problems. I'm missing the maple right outside my kitchen window (it came down today), but I won't miss the poop the birds left on the deck because they loved sitting in the branches that reached out over the deck!

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - I did love the sugar maple. It was lovely all times of the year. And the birds liked it, too. I mean the ones who sat in it going to and from the sunflower feeder and suet ball.

Sparkless said...

You too sure do like to keep busy don't you? It's sad when we have to removed bushes and trees that don't work out but the fun part is finding new ones that will be better for the spots you want them in. Have fun building that deck.

Erin said...

Can't wait to see the new deck!

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - I'm not sure how much "fun" rebuilding the deck is going to be . . . but that's the wrong attitude, isn't it? Hubby doesn't understand how I can have the ability to make complicated quilt blocks but have no desire to excel at carpentry! I always tell him ruining a 1/4 yard of fabric is less expensive than ruining a 10' long 2x4!

Mama Pea said...

Erin - You and me both, kiddo!

Mark said...

Oh my goodness, Mama Pea! You did have a handful. Ours, I suspect looks much like your "before" pic must have looked. Very similar, except our beat up tree is a neglected crab apple. I can feel a "homestead embarrassments" posts coming on where I show all the neglected things that just haven't made it to the top of list. Could be fun, and I know everyone has their own list.

Mama Pea said...

Mark - The sugar maple and flowering crab have been yanked out, but we're having more than a little trouble getting that darn nanny berry "bush" out. It's the type of thing that sends runners (or roots) under the ground and they pop us 6' away from the main growth. We may have to use dynamite!