New shade tree, new fountain, new comics, etc.

Finally getting the summer heat, meaning I’m on daily watering duty now.

I did get a tree planted a week or so ago. I think in the last blog post I had just planted a baby silk tree, but I decided to move it to a new spot closer to the fence and the shed, which is currently shady, but in 3 weeks will be full sun when my neighbor finally gets rid of the old pine tree on her side of the fence which she’s wanted to remove for a while now.

It’s healthy in the sense of being vigorous, but someone topped it maybe 20 years ago so it has this messed up upside-down octopus look and that usually means weakness, plus my neighbor is getting on in years and doesn’t want big trees that can present dangers and liabilities… and I get that. It will be sad to lose the shade, but then the roses and many of the other plants in this section of my garden will probably relish the extra sun.

But it’ll be awesome when that little silk tree is big enough to make some dappled shade in the area.

It had only been in its other spot by the patio for a couple days so it was an easy replant, and it’ll be a long wait for that shade, though it has put on probably 3″ on the topmost shoot since I got it, which is pretty good, actually.

In place of the baby silk tree’s former spot by the patio, I bought the biggest shade tree that could be brought home with my dad’s truck (that will still be manageable in the end… which meant that as much as I love catalpas, they get up to 50′ high and 60′ wide so I didn’t dare buy a catalpa as I can only fit something that gets 25′ wide without overhanging my neighbors to the north.).

This bad boy is an American yellowwood, and I think 12′ tall already. It will have a nice lemon color in the fall and will give good shade, and do so much sooner than the silk tree.

It will get to 25′ wide and be about that high, so it will shade the patio and give some protection to the house from both the harsh sun and the harsh winds. At full height it may even give some shade to the master by blocking some of the sun from the westside skylight which can make the master brutally hot in summer even with a sheer white fabric hung right under the skylight and a set of homemade batik curtains I have on 2 rods (ie, held top and bottom not just falling from the top as the ceiling is sloped there).

It’ll be a while, but not nearly as long as the silk tree will take.

Both will bloom: the silk tree will get pink pompoms in the summer when it’s big enough and the yellowwood will get dripping with fragrant white wisteria-esque flowers every 2-4 years.

I did consider getting an evergreen magnolia instead of the yellowwood, but when I had the non-evergreen magnolia out front before it messed with the sewer connection and had to be removed a couple years ago, those thick leather-like leaves become a nasty thick mat over the winter that harbors slugs and other pests and take forever to breakdown. Obviously not an issue with an evergreen magnolia, but still. And I just didn’t like the look of them outside of the blooms. I considered a parrotia as well, and they’re nice, but I dunno, the yellowwoods just called to me, especially this fella, who happened to have the straightest trunk and was pretty much the tallest one available.

Oh, speaking of the silk tree… I think I said something before about the hardiness and being concerned abut the tag saying a couple of the varieties were only hardy to 0.

I checked the tags again when we went to pick up the yellowwood, and it’s 0F. D’oh!

Well, those other varieties were Monrovia’s varieties with Monrovia’s tags, and they’re an American company, which I forgot about. 0F is -17C, which will be just fine here.

Anyway, we also got the pear trees planted, and I also planted 3 Japanese maples:

This is a Kotobuki, will be about 10’x10′ eventually and needs partial shade. In the short term, it will get the shade from the fence in the earlier part of the day and the shed later on… but it’ll be a while before I have to worry about it getting exposed.
In the middle is a baby Japanese Sunrise Japanese maple. It will hit 20’x10′ and can take sun exposure, and will work with the silk tree to protect the more shade-loving stuff in this corner in time.
Seasons of Change Japanese maple in a large pot. It can get to 10’x5′, and can take sun. I have some ideas where to put it but for now I have it in my side yard in a large pot until I decide exactly where to place it.

I also got a dwarf dogwood and a fig for the north fence, as well as some groundcovers like ajuga.

I’ll be planting even more groundcovers, and replaced a bunch of strawberries in the strawberry patch that died off last summer. Then I laid down flattened pizza boxes in between the strawberries and put mulch over top:

What else for outside… well, I got another fountain to put on the patio under the window to the family room that I have my workspace in so I can listen to it.

It’s a basic ball on pedestal design and doesn’t splatter once it gets going.
This is my old fountain, which has some issues and does splatter. I will probably move it to another location.

I found a wasp nest being built under the eaves on the covered patio and had to spray it and dispose of it. Not something I like doing, but sorry, wasps, my house is off-limits. Go build a nest in one of the trees away from the patio and I’ll look the other way.

There were plans to get a bunch of concrete work done on pathways etc. this summer but it’s not looking good for getting it done this year. We’ll see.

Part of me also wants to add a little deck to my front steps to have a landing, but haven’t decided. Lumber is very costly right now, and it’s a lower priority.

Anyway, onto other things.

I’m obviously behind on The Nick White Show. I think I’m gonna have an episode in the first week of August that actually references Nick having been MIA for a few weeks and all the other characters having fun in his absence… except Atlanta, who is worried that her best weed client is missing.

Now, is Atlanta concerned for humanitarian reasons or just financial ones? Hmmm…

I’m also working on another episode set in Nick and Joanne’s rarely used laundry, as mentioned before when I was making a faux-tile floor for it.

I did get the first Noah comic up, though, as I posted about yesterday.

And I have 4 of the next 5 weeks’ of comics planned and I’ve started the blueline initial sketches for 2 of those weeks in Procreate, and a third week sketched/doodled/thumbnailed in my sketchbook.

Sneak peek at next week’s comic.
Sneak peek at a mid-August comic, or rather the planning stage of it.

So there’s that.

Well, we already had some garden pics, but not of flowers, so we’ll wrap up with a few of those:

‘White Swan’ echinacea
Liatris starting to bloom
Hollyhock – I think I tossed a bunch of seeds for a “chatters double mix”
‘Lady Gardener’ rose
‘Rock n roll’ grandiflora rose… this stem fell over and has kept blooming anyway.
‘Blushing Lucy’ climbing rose
‘Double Delights Wedding Ring’ hydrangea starting to come into bloom
Stargazer lilies
‘Heirloom’ rose
‘Rouge Cardinal’ clematis