The READIN Family Album
Me and Sylvia on the canal in Qibao (April 2011)

READIN

Jeremy's journal

If there is a scheme,
perhaps this too is in the scheme,

Charles Reznikoff


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Friday, May second, 2003

Spring

It's been Spring for a couple of weeks now in South Orange, the flowering trees massively in bloom; but I've been waiting for leaves on the larger trees to come. This morning it looks like they are finally here! Almost all the trees have foliage coming in.

In our yard, the little tree that may or may not be dogwood has buds; and the bush in our front yard sprouted hundreds of crimson flowers all at once a few days ago. I de-ivied that little tree a week and a half ago; and last night I cut the last trunk of ivy off our big maple tree -- there are now about 8 feet of visible trunk before the ivy infestation starts. My dad thinks if I give it a couple of months, all that ivy above the cleared section -- which is no longer getting any nourishment from below -- will dry up and be relatively easy to remove.

Update: Ellen informs me the crimson bush is an azalea; also there is one in our back yard, which I noticed this (Saturday) morning is coming out in buds the same way. I'm thinking it may have gotten buds a few days later because there is less sun; but that is pure speculation.

posted morning of May second, 2003: Respond
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Sunday, May 11th, 2003

Mom and Dad have been visiting this weekend, I have been doing a lot of yard work with help and direction from Dad. We discovered a big climbing rose bush against the back fence, behind all the underbrush there, much of which we cleared away. There are also a whole lot of a plant that the man from Rutgers Co-op Extension says is honeysuckle -- we took some clippings from 4 plants in to the county fair to see what they are, and though the Master Gardener was not there, the person on hand was able to speculate some.

Also, some weirdo took a flower pot off of our front porch -- everyone thinks it was taken to be used as a Mother's Day present.

posted evening of May 11th, 2003: Respond
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Saturday, July 12th, 2003

Sensual Pruning

I spent much of this morning and afternoon pruning bushes in our front yard, and came to really enjoy it. This is something that I am doing without investing any research in it, trying to go purely by instinct. (Plus I got a little advice from my father when he was here, and from the tree surgeon who worked on our big maple tree.) Figuring out which branch needs to come away and tracking it back to the appropriate separation point can be quite pleasurable. And trimming the hedges was really fun, like giving someone a haircut.

posted afternoon of July 12th, 2003: Respond

Sunday, March 21st, 2004

Today the garden started erupting. The crocuses have been up for a week or so -- some of them were crushed a bit by the snowstorm but others are in good shape. We did not really plant enough crocus bulbs for them to make a real impression of bloom. Tulip and daffodil greenery has been visible through the snow for a few days and after the rain yesterday that is the dominant thing in the garden. But many other bits of greenery are visible!

We spent this morning doing yard work -- raked up remaining leaves from the fall -- aerated the lawn and put some new seed on it and some fertilizer -- turned the compost which I have not touched since the fall, there is some stuff in there we will be able to use immediately. The idea was to start cleaning the garage out, which I want to convert to a work space (from a storage space), but that did not happen. (The plan for the garage is to put a long table against both side walls, and to put a door in the yard side. And possibly to insulate and sheet rock the walls.)

posted evening of March 21st, 2004: Respond

Thursday, March 25th, 2004

Yard work

What fun! this evening Sylvia and I planted some forsythias, she with her trowel and I with my spade. When I came home I asked if she would like to help me do it and she quickly said, "No." Then a few more "no"s while I was putting on jeans and work shoes and walking downstairs, followed by a sudden "I want to help!" as I opened the door. So we went outside (very warm today, I think in the 60's) and dug up some holes, and filled them with plants and soil.

This weekend I will be acquiring my next big power tool; it is a 6" jointer, which I am buying from Matt Prusik (a former president of CJWA). The weekend is busy -- on Saturday morning we are going to the nursery to get bushes and trees, and in the afternoon getting a start on cleaning the garage; on Sunday morning I will drive down to South Amboy where Matt lives and back, and in the afternoon I'll be trying to set it up. The jointer may not be usable immediately as I think the power supply to the garage might be too small and need rewiring.

posted evening of March 25th, 2004: Respond
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Monday, April 18th, 2005

Springtime

The following things are in bloom in our yard now:

  • Daffodils -- a profusion thereof. The first ones started blooming a week or two ago; every day since then we have seen new ones, new shapes and colors and varieties.
  • Tulips -- the first (and to date only) ones to bloom are a pale yellow and next to our front steps. Many others are showing buds. Ellen is surprised they came back at all.
  • Grape Hyacinth -- these are poking up between the daffodils here and there.
And you can see buds on a lot of other stuff; the dogwood for instance should be coming in in a week or two.

posted morning of April 18th, 2005: Respond

Friday, April 29th, 2005

So the garden is going like gangbusters. The bulbs I wrote of previously are still out (the tulips in majestic force), and I can't mow the lawn because it is full of daffodils and hyacinths. Plus: the shad bush which Ellen planted in back last year is in lovely white bloom. Some purple flowers on the side of the house that I don't know the name of. The two azalea bushes (one in front, one in back) have thousands of crimson buds out. Of the three bushes we planted next to Sylvia's sandbox, one of them has large white flowers on it; I think it might be rhododendron but that guess is random. The other two I thought were azaleas but I don't see anything happening on them. The lilac bushes, two years old, have a couple of flowers. Many buds are visible on the dogwood and it should be coming in soon.

For Mother's Day, Sylvia and I are going to buy Ellen a myrtle tree to plant in front. It will be a couple of weeks though until the actual purchase transpires, as Ellen's preferred nursery is Foliage Farm in Kutztown, PA.

Update: Checked my memory impressions when I got home. I did not get everything right: for one thing I forgot the phlox, which is very much a part of the first impression you get from the garden. And: the bush is a rhododendron; and the others are azalea, and they have some small buds on them too. And: now that I get a good look at the back yard I see there are a lot of light-colored violets toward the back of the yard, on the lawn and in the garden, and some small pink flowers closer to the house.

Update: Ellen writes:

hi jer,
just read your recent posts, which i enjoyed very much. just to add about the garden: there are bleeding hearts now - remember when they are finished, they are really done for - they disappear magically into the ground til next spring, so worth taking note of. it was fun explaining to sylvia why they are called that- not many plants have such literal names. i divided one of them a few weeks ago into five separate plants and placed them around the garden, where they are all in full bloom, if smaller. also - i think it's worth noting that we have at last count, about 15 different varieties of daffodils, some of which are incredibly untraditional looking - like a pale yellow almost peony-like one on the side of the house, and another that has multiple orchard-like blooms on one stem. for anyone in the market for bulbs - it's worth getting a daffodil variety pack and not just the samo-one shape of yellow kind. it's really been a trip seeing what comes up - and they stagger in bloom- so we've had them for almost a month and they're still appearing. sylvia and i picked out a bouquet of them, each different, to bring to school, so the kids could see so many types of one flower.
love,ek

posted morning of April 29th, 2005: Respond

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

Chores

This morning I planted the beginnings of an herb garden -- specifically, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, two kinds of mint, parsley. I'm happy about that and am hoping they flourish this summer -- before I have only ever grown herbs in pots and they never seem to do very well. I think it's going to rain today (though the weather forecast does not agree with me).

I want to put the screen door up on our back door today (which means I have to go to the hardware store for some screen, to repair the lower panel of the door). And, there is furniture to set up on our side porch. Lots of stuff to keep me busy around the house today.

posted morning of April 20th, 2008: Respond

Thursday, May first, 2008

May Day

Oh boy, another month! This one is going to be the month of my birthday and the month when our garden really starts looking garden-y. (April hasn't been too bad -- some nice flowers -- but in May you start getting the lush greenery, the azaleas and the mountain laurel are going to come out in force, I need to start mowing the lawn.)

posted morning of May first, 2008: Respond

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Irises


Our irises are blossoming this year! Last year the plants grew but produced no flowers. The bulbsrhizomes are from The Presby Memorial Iris Gardens in Montclair, where you can get a mixed grab bag during bloom season for cheap.

posted morning of May 19th, 2008: Respond
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