Friday, April 23, 2010

Ch-ch-ch-chain-saw changes

The stump on the left used to be a tall balsam that balanced the balsam on the right with the stairs between them.

Sometimes, after I'm gone for the day, dramatic changes welcome me home. Sometimes, a tree gets planted. Other times a tree gets moved. Or, like most recently, a tree gets cut down.

I knew it was coming -- we had talked about the necessity of taking down a balsam that stood sentinel on one side of the entrance to the little wooded enclave we call the Shady Nook. The tree was tight against an aspen -- as tight as crossed fingers -- and the situation with its girdling roots wasn't good for either of them. Then, this past winter the top of the balsam snapped off. No sense putting it off any longer. The tree, which had been ailing for some time, had to come down. I went off to class and the resident head gardener pulled out the chain saw. And suddenly, the Shady Nook looked very different.

First, of course, this means the Shady Nook isn't so shady anymore. And it means that the area, which was the very definition of dry shade, also won't be so dry anymore. It means opportunities to rethink the area and to use the balsam stump as a pedestal for a pot of something trailing or a place to put a birdhouse. Maybe one similar to the birdhouses with roofs planted in succulents that we saw at Winter Greenhouse. It means that someday, a new conifer of our choosing may sink its roots there. And the Not-So-Shady Nook may become the Shady Nook again.
One of the green-roof birdhouses we saw last year at Winter Greenhouse.


  1. Taking down that balsam looks like it opened the entrance out nicely. I had to laugh about coming home to surprises because I am notorious for doing things like that. My vote for the stump is something trailing. If the "resident head gardener" is handy with the chain saw and a chisel a gutting of about a quarter inch circle will provide a nice holder for a pot so it stays put on windy days and your rambunctious wildlife can't knock it over easily. What do you use to control ticks in that area? I am a shady nook fan and the ticks love my areas.

  2. Good idea about chiseling out a pot holder. I'm leaning toward something trailing, too, just not sure what yet. As for tick control, all we do is check ourselves and the dog. I found a fat one on his blanket last week. Ick!!!