I take A LOT of pictures. Pictures of EVERYTHING! I have a visual memory. I can close my eyes and remember a detail by looking at that mental image in my brain. Same with pictures. I loved looking through the photo albums my mom had for us. It's how I remembered events in life. That's what I did this part weekend, was update the boys photo albums. I make yearly books via Shutterfly or MyPublisher, but I also have plain photo albums to flip through.
Besides my kids and dogs, I also take pictures of the yard and house. As I was going through pictures this weekend, I had so much fun looking through old pictures and seeing the progress our house and yard have made.
I grew up with Crepe Myrtles in Florida, but they weren't as beautiful as the ones I've seen here. The Crepe's thrive on heat and grow so fast! I did a lot of research and picked a crepe for my yard that would only get 15 feet tall and had the prettiest lilac flower.
I ordered them from the cheap from the University of Florida. Six trees for $4 each and they arrived in two skinny boxes!
They were basically twigs.
I wasn't disappointed because I knew how fast they would grow.
I used little plant stands to hold them up.
In a year, they were fuller.
I originally had six crepe myrtles (Yuma). Two of the twigs died, so I got two Acoma Crepe's to replace them. I really didn't need to do that. As they got bigger, I decided to remove the Acoma's and place them some where else in the yard. One is currently outside Mr. Brigglesworth's window. It's a lovely view.
|Acoma Crepe Myrtle (Year 3)|
|Acoma Crepe Year 4|
In two years, they got taller.
In three years, they were taller and fuller.
Each year, I tame the trunks with twine. Each variety has their own growth habit. Some are tall and skinny, while others have a wide "v-shape." The twine has really helped me shape them into trees. Along with trimming the lower branches.
|Tree #2 - June 2010|
|Tree #2 & 3 - Dec 2012|
By the fourth year, they were finally the height I was looking forward to. The goal was to have the trunks be as tall as the fence, and the top bushy part of the tree be above the fence.
I said I wasn't going to trim them back this year, but I did. Just not much. I'm going to keep trimming them until they all catch up to each other in height.
Crepe myrtles only bloom on new wood. I wanted to make sure I still had lots of pretty flowers this year. It's also almost time to pour the bug juice on the roots. Japanese Beetles LOVE my crepe myrtles, but the bug juice works! It's absorbed by the plant and when the beetle eats the leaves, the beetle dies. Some damage gets done to the leaves, but it's not as bad as normal.
It's amazing to see something grow and become so beautiful over time.