We were very fortunate that Sandy only gave us a glancing blow, however, I have my own little garden saga of destruction and hopefully next summer, renewal.
I thought that I and my all of neighbors had come through pretty much unscathed but when I backed my car out of the garage for work on Tuesday morning, I noticed a lot more light from the north where the property line and my driveway converge. A large ash tree had fallen and, fortunately for my house, chose to fall away from it. Unfortunately for my neighbors it hit the power line that runs from the street to their house and the pole on their lawn snapped off at the base. The gallery pictures start with pictures of that.
As I was looking for other signs of damage I noticed that the tree next to the fallen one had been snapped at the base, probably taken a glancing blow, and was leaning into yet a third, a huge three part maple. Despite my struggles to prevent it, these trees had been damaged some years ago and while they leaf out every year, I’d been getting more and more pesimistic about their survival. And the two trees together, one mostly detached from its roots had taken a serious lean toward the house. So worried calls to my insurance company over, I started calling tree services.
Tree service to the rescue. Although they tried to be considerate, I’m not sure which was more terrifying, the bite of Sandy’s lessser winds that hit us, or a yard full of men with chain saws. With sadness, I had them take one more three part ash that was in a similar shape. Still alive but losing the battle. Somebody got a lot of really nice hardwood out of this.
Trees down, I had to wait a few days for the logs to disappear. The car in the picture helps with scale. The last shot shows how much more cleanup work there is to do. Among other things, the wood pile and my three compost bins, instead of tucked under trees, are strangely out in the middle of an open area. I need to do more cleaning in another part of the yard to make a place for them. I confess, I’ve worked a lot more with the sunny parts of my yard; building and maintaining the roses, food garden and dahlia beds. This is the north side of my yard, on the north side of a wet slope and some of the landscaping challenges here are formidable.
But with suggestions from gardens friends, I’m already imagining new plantings, maybe even beauty and order, in what has been primarily a wild and difficult area. Opportunity for renewal is also what storms offer. I need a specimen tree that will also act as a windbreak and privacy screen, to anchor new plantings there. My Norwegian friend Arnhild suggested a Thujopsis dolobrata. From pictures it looks like a beautifully shaped evergreen with a white underside to its fleshy leaves . And after reading that they like moist conditions, I’m hot on the trail to buy one. That spot is low and gets runoff from the driveway so is often wet. It will go roughly on the right side of the last shot, although if I buy the one quart size which is all that I’ve found so far, it will take awhile to show up in pictures!