In my Earth Day post, I included a picture of the rat's nest of a crabapple we have in the front of the house. We call it the "Hobbit Tree" because years of bad pruning before we moved in had contorted the branches into something that looks like it's out of Lord of the Rings.
Well, the tree trimmers finally came, and the Hobbit Tree sports a whole new look. The dead wood is gone, the droopy branches are gone, and the remaining canopy, though a bit sparse, looks a whole lot healthier. What few blossoms it had were knocked off in the process, so we won't get a lovely flush of pinky-white this year, but the Lincoln Constance rose that's scrambing up the side still hasn't finished. It generally blooms after the crabapple, extending the bloom time.
Now that the canopy has been lifted, I see that a hosta underneath is in imminent danger of getting sunburned. This weekend I'll start renovations on the bed underneath the crabapple, digging it up to loosen the soil after the heavy trampling it got from the tree trimmers (couldn't be avoided -- and I think careless newspaper carriers have been adding to the compaction over the years), adding cow stuff to improve it, moving the hostas, and adding some new plants. I ordered some new plants from High Country Gardens, and stopped at Nichols Garden Nursery to gather some goodies for this bed and for the bed by the concrete. Good times ahead, you betcha.
Here's the "before" picture: