Friday, December 3, 2010

This little Lacebark Pine got me thinking....always a dangerous thing!

I like gardening as a metaphor for life; both require us to spend a lot of time dealing with loss

I've been meanign to remove at least one limb from the large Cedar that overhangs this juvenile Pinus leucoderma. It's actually within 15 feet of two mature Cedars. I expect it was planted with some hope that it could replace one or both of them when their time comes. Of course they are immense, drop good sized limbs pretty reliably in heavy snow or ice events, and so are almost certain to destroy this small tree before it can fulfill its mission.

If dealing with loss is a part of gardening, then unfounded optimism constitutes our defensive posture. We're just going to proceed as if that Lacebark Pine were planted in the middle of a field and tended regularly by three super gardeners. If it works out, fine. If not, then we'll deal with that when it happens.

We actually did have a mature Cedar fall this past winter and if you hadn't known how things had been, you'd have to read the clues carefully to know a catastrophe had occurred. The large Poliothyrsis sinensis, is suspiciously one sided and there's a bank of shade perennials across the path that toasted in the extra sunlight. Stewartia rostrata burned up too this summer but I bet that doesn't happen next year when it will be more acclimated to its new conditions.

If I hadn't seen them first-hand, I'd have trouble believing all the good things that have happened to that space since February. The tree contractor took three tries to remove the bulk of the material, but left the bole. An ASRT project cut the trunk into manageable slabs. After the contractor ground the stump and roots, Nathan graded the area with the Bobcat. I can't say enough about what Amanda has done since. She took advantage of the sunny area to transplant a handful of plants from places they really shouldn't have been. She pruned the damaged understory plants, added some interesting perennials, and mulched it. The space is so beautiful that I wonder if my optimism is not unwarranted.

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