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Deuce Cities Henhouse

Sad Times For My Yard :(


My yard is having hard timez this year, and it makes me so sad. I mentioned a few weeks ago that my Bloodgood Japanese Maple was not doing well. It’s gotten much worse since then. I took an effected branch to the horticulturist at my local garden center, and they informed me that the tree has a fungus called Verticillium Wilt, unfortunately the Verticillium Wilt lives in the soil and gets sucked up into the tree via its roots. The treatment isn’t sure fire, and I’d probably have better chances if I invested in a whole lot of rabbit’s feet. I’ve been cutting back branches with clean disinfected pruning shears as soon as I begin to see the signature wilt. Unfortunately I only have a twig of a tree left, and I’m not sure that I “beat” the wilt. I’ve been monitoring daily looking for changes in the leaves, I’m hopeful that it will survive – but not confident. I’ll keep you posted regarding its fate.


I knew that there would come some upsets with the basement project, but I didn’t anticipate the wallop my yard would take. Check out my side gardens. The lawn is a mess, my stepping stones are cracked and broken, and the flower beds need major attention after the egress window was dug out. I’m thankful the crew took the time and care to dig the hole out by hand (as opposed to using an excavator), but it still makes my stomach turn to see all the damage that has been done in the process.


My front yard wasn’t spared either, it now has major holes in it (that have now been filled in) from having the gas meter relocated last week. The lawn will have to be reseeded this fall, for sure.

It’s all for a greater good, I just wish I could convince myself of that…

So come on, commiserate with me! I’m sure a few of you guys have had renovation casualties or maybe have had plants or trees take that trip to that big old forest in the sky. Tell me I’m not alone ;)

14 comments
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14 comments… add one
  • Lauralou June 29, 2015

    Well, our weeping birch is dying…it’s so beautiful around the bottom, but totally dead and horror-movie looking at the top. Our arborist friend said we have to cut it down. My neighbors have to put in a new leaching field which means digging up their entire front yard…which has gardens 30 years in the making. You are not alone. Hang in there, Scoops!

    • Scoops June 30, 2015

      Oh no, Laura! So sorry to hear about your birch tree. It’s amazing how attached we can get to trees and plants and what nots. Are your neighbors trying to save the garden at all? That’s so sad. Let’s try to keep our heads up.

  • Lauren June 29, 2015

    I think we have the same Japanese maple and it totally bit the dust :( such a bummer I know!

    • Scoops June 30, 2015

      Oh no! How did yours die? I babied mine all winter, that’s what so sad for me, I think worrying over it made me even more attached.

  • Alanna June 29, 2015

    Oh I’ve killed so many things in my first couple of years learning to garden! I’m finally starting to get a hang of things and feel more confident and successful. Of course this fall we’re getting our house painted and everything is sure to be trampled. I scheduled for September in hopes that it won’t affect things too badly for next year.

    • Scoops June 30, 2015

      I’ve killed my fair share too – it just seems like it’s all happening at once right now. Good planning on the fall painting – I bet your perennials will pop up next year like nothing happened.

  • Nico June 29, 2015

    I have been there, Scoops, and I feel your pain! It feels like 1 step forward and 2 steps back. I know how much work and vision you put into your yard. One step at a time and it will be looking great again by this time next year. And just think about how much you’ll enjoy that basement this winter.

    • Scoops June 30, 2015

      I guess I always like a reason to get out in the dirt ;) I’ll keep my eye on the prize.

  • Crystal passi June 29, 2015

    Don’t feel bad, I’m a horticulturalist and a landscape designer and I’ve killed so many plants! Japanese maples are also marginally hardy in MN. One plant I like as a sub for Japanese Maples that has a look I love and kind of Japanesey (not the beauteous color but hey) is tiger eye sumac. Rhus typhina ‘balitiger.’ Another one is black Lace elderberry, Sambucus nigra. They are hardy here for sure and hard to kill. Sorry for your loss, you are not alone :(

    • Scoops June 30, 2015

      Crystal! Thanks for your comment. I know the Japanese Maples are meant for MN, but I tried so hard to get it through the winter safely and succeeded. Thanks for your recommendations on other trees, I will for sure check them out. I did go out and get another Japanese maple to plant in a different location, I just love the leaves so much.

  • Vanessa June 29, 2015

    I gosh, I’m going to say that old lady thing, “this just gives you a chance to try something fresh in that spot. It’s an opening for you to put in something that you didn’t have room for.” Once my dog dug up my flowers looking for a cool spot on a hot day. I wanted to kill him! Eventually I replanted the pieces and was surprised when they took and I had two plants. I never would have tried that on my own.

    • Scoops June 30, 2015

      I know, I’m already scheming! I’m secretly excited about finding something new to put in that spot next week but I would’ve preferred it if the tree just survived.

  • Sarah June 30, 2015

    Did you have a rough winter? I just got an email today from a local nursery saying that due to the extreme cold we had in Ontario that plants have damage that’s mimicking Verticillium wilt (https://onnurserycrops.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/sudden-dieback-on-twigs/).

  • Keri June 30, 2015

    I have two trees that are dying right now, and while it makes me super sad, our arborist suggested planning for what will go in there next and that makes things a little better. You can use this as a chance to make things even more beautiful! And your basement will be worth some dirt patches now. Good luck!

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