For those of you who asked about the creature by the door, here he is in his full glory! He is called Man of the Woods and with a nose like that he could not possibly be female! I like his gnarly beard and wise eyes.
This Sunday was a balmy 39+ degrees and much of the snow, especially in the south facing areas, has melted. Since I purchased my after Christmas special shrubs, three of each of the Ilex verticillata 'Red Sprite' and Cornus stolonifera 'Arctic Fire', I was forced to either heel them in a pile of mulch or find a spot and plant them. The Equipment Manager, bless him, checked the ground in the new border and found that it was not frozen. He proceeded to dig six holes and we planted the shrubs, frozen root balls and all. Since they would sit in a nursery in a container, they should be fine planted out in the border. I have never planted in January before! I did take the Christmas tree down and one of the advantages of a live tree is that the branches can be cut off and used as a mulch to keep the ground from freezing and thawing. I had assistance with this task, as you can see and the newly planted shrubs look quite cozy with their collars of fraser fir. Of course this necessitated getting out the deer spray since deer love fraser fir and despite my efforts have nibbled on many of my plants. They even nibbled the Pieris or Andromeda which they are not supposed to like. I wish someone would tell them that! These look like bunny droppings but this bunny hasn't ever left any such treasures!
On an added note, I would love to have you comment and I do have a few more posts for this week but I will be away on vacation and will respond to the comments when I return.