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Monday, January 11, 2010

The Day I got my Palm Tree Shaved... 

First things first, this was the status I put up on Facebook this morning:

Trina is so excited that her palm tree is getting a shave today. :) (and is realizing that this sounds like a metaphor for something else, which makes this sound much funnier than it actually is)

It's no surprise that the responses I got back were hilarious!

But, no, really... I had my palm tree shaved today!

Nice, pretty, shaved Palm Tree!

The palm tree that we have in our backyard is probably about 20 years old, and up until about a year ago when we had our backyard done, the poor thing was pretty neglected. Our landscape designers fell in love with the palm tree, and actually based their whole design around it.

At last, our Palm Tree felt loved. &heart; :)

We've been meaning to have it shaved for the last year or so, but never actually got around to making it happen... until today!

The trunk was full of "hair" from the base all the way to the top.

(from the web)
The "hairy stuff" is an accumulation of dead leaves whose leafbases have not fallen off the trunk. Removing the old growth is done solely for cosmetic reasons.

Our gardener, Ann Marie brings her crew to our backyard every 3 to 4 months. I go back and weed/trim every week or so just for regular maintenance.

Today, Ann Marie brought in a Palm Specialist to help her shave the palm tree. It was a meticulous process, and was so interesting to watch. They shaved the trunk sheet-by-sheet - each sheet was originally formed by individual palm leaf. They carefully trimmed each sheet just above the dead growth (as to not damage the live growth) then sliced it off at the base of the leaf stem. (bad description, and probably not accurate.)

The whole process probably took a couple of hours.

I'm so amazed, and so happy with the results. I love the color of the exposed trunk. It will change color (green in the shade, and light brown in the sun) over time, but I think the pattern of the trunk is so beautiful!

Here are some photos of the process:

Before - covered in hair, and wrapped with lights

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

The First Tomato 

Success!! I picked the first tomato from our tomato plants a couple of
days ago. We let it sit and fully ripen in our kitchen counter. We
just ate it, and it was delicious!!


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Aphid Attack!!! 


I am officially completely grossed out.

It should come to no surprise to anyone that I'm not a huge fan of "nature".

...and when I say "nature", I mean all the little bugs, spiders, and creepy crawly things that I associate with being outside amongst the pretty part of nature like trees, plants and flowers.

When Dick and I had our new backyard garden designed last year, we specifically requested that it be low maintenance. I figured, if we planned it out right, we could have a backyard that wouldn't require much more maintenance than regular weeding and simple pruning. After spending so much dough on our yard, I was determined to take care of the week-to-week needs, and only have our gardener come in for big jobs like pruning the trees, things associated with the drip irrigation system, or anything else that required actual knowledge of how things work out there. :)

So far, I've been doing a pretty good job, if I do say so myself! :)
My parents came over early on and helped disperse 20+ bags of mulch, and also helped me transplant a couple of plants.

I'm usually out there about once a week, working on the day-to-day maintenance. This mostly involves weeding, which, if I do it once a week, is pretty easy to keep under control. I've also busted out my pruning shears from time-to-time to trim away old growth, and have even taken a stab at shaping a few plants.

it was all going so well....

...except for the aphids.

I noticed the aphids a few months ago, and bought some spray that I thought would help. Well, it turns out that I wasn't spraying often enough.

Yesterday, my contractor who built the garden came over to see how everything had grown since she saw it last. She immediately noticed the aphid infestation on the plants underneath one of the maple trees. I told her I had been spraying, but she told me that wasn't enough.

She suggested that I take a bucket of soapy water, arm myself with a pair of rubber gloves, and wipe each leaf individually with the soapy water. She said it would be much more effective than spraying alone, which makes sense.

My initial reaction: Ewwwwww!!!
I hate bugs! There's no way I'll do this.
Then I sent out an email to my gardener, asking her to come over sometime soon to tackle it.

...which should be the end of the story.

But, it's not.

This afternoon, out of the blue, I decided to put on my rubber gloves, and attach those aphids myself!

I filled a bucket with soapy water, and wiped those leaves, one by one, scraping off all of the aphids, and drowning them in my bucket of water. I emptied the bucket out 4 or 5 times. That's a lot of aphids.

It probably took me about 45 minutes to complete the task. All the while, I managed to stay composed and not get too grossed out, knowing that would get me nowhere. After I rinsed out my bucket for the final time, I went back to the plants and sprayed them with the solution to try to keep them away. I now know that I should spray at least once a week - much more than I had been.

After I finished the job outside, I came in, put my clothes into the washing machine, then hopped into the shower.

This gives you an idea of just how miraculous it is that I even talked myself into doing this chore in the first place.

We'll see how it goes. I certainly hope this helped.

...and now, I'm pretty sure that I need a drink.

I hate bugs.

As Dot from the "Animaniacs" would say: Deeee-sgusting!!

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