Thursday, March 17, 2016

In Spring, the Wind Blows Hard

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: 
when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.

- Charles Dickens

Spring has been scrumptious so far. Each day I go to the garden to see what new blooms await my notice. I would have spent even more time doing that these last couple of days, were it not for the wind. Take yesterday, for instance.

Our high temperature was 63°, and when you're on this side of winter, that feels like summer. Except for that blasted wind. It makes both walking and driving a bit of a challenge, when you've got it blowing at a sustained 45 mph, with gusts to 55 mph.

It didn't calm down much by early evening either, but Romie and I still went out to see if the daffodils had opened. The day before, they were very nearly ready, so we weren't surprised to see few golden heads nodding - well, thrashing about, really - in the wind.

But we were surprised by what else we saw, just next to the daffodils...

A few years ago, bacterial wet wood disease began to kill our weeping willow - the central feature in Max's Garden.

We went online to seek information and advice for possibly saving the tree, but they didn't give much hope. They said it could take a couple of years before the willow would actually die and that's about what happened.

We planted the tree in 2005, when we dug out the grass to form what came to be known as Max's Garden. Max was a yellow cat - the most wonderful yellow cat in the world - that just sauntered in from the field, right through the garden like he owned the place. And soon he did, so it just seemed fitting to name the garden after him.

Our willow's first days in the newly-dug garden, in 2005.

Just three years later, in 2008, the willow tree had grown into its own, right
along with the garden surrounding it.

By 2015, there was nothing left alive on the willow, but I still enjoyed its presence.

I had made the decision to keep the dead tree in the garden because it was so beautifully shaped and it seemed pretty solid when we pushed on it.

But our assessment of it just a week ago was that it felt pretty solid then too. So much for that. Sometimes Mother Nature forces your hand.

Romie wants to get another weeping willow for that spot. I'm not so sure. I loved that willow and want something that will be a focal point in much the same way that the willow was, but I'm not sure another willow is a wise choice. It does have fast growth in its favor, though, because we're not getting any younger.

We're open to opinions and suggestions.

There's a hole in my garden . . .


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Don't you just hate to lose a tree. I don't know if I would plant another willow there or a tree that might be susceptible to that sort of ick. It might be in the soil and transfer. At least that would be my worry. Good luck with your choice.

Rebecca Hively said...

A dogwood would be my choice. We live in eastern Ohio and have a small one that fits perfectly in our side garden. Like you, we have had terrific wind the past two days making my daily walks after work almost negligible.

Rebecca Hively

www.ravenscourtgardens. com said...

Oh no...losing trees is rough! The wind is a mighty force. I just read we might have strong winds and possible hail here in Houston tonight. Glad I have been out in the garden enjoying all the blooms because they might not be there tomorrow.

Beth said...

We also will be replacing a tree this year (an ash we're removing electively). I suggest a flowering tree, such as a magnolia, crabapple, or Chanticleer pear. It's a lovely garden, Kylie.
Hugs, Beth

RobinL said...

I don't think I'd chance planting another willow in the same spot. I guess my suggestions would be a smoke tree or a sweet gum. The sweet gum doesn't do much for me until fall, then they knock my socks off!

Beth @ PlantPostings said...

I like Beth's suggestion. A Crabapple would be lovely. Or you could go with a Rebud--they are such stunning bloomers in the spring, and they have interesting shapes the rest of the year. Plus, they're such a nice diminutive size.

Diana said...

I remember when you lost the tree. It’s sad to lose things we love in the garden. I think maybe something different will revive your spirit and fill the hole which will bring a new awakening. You can keep your special willow memories and enjoy something else as well. Good luck.

Kylee Baumle said...

Lisa ~ I have concerns about that, too.

Rebecca ~ While I love dogwoods, they don't do particularly well here. I think our heavy clay soil is just not helpful. We've also got alkaline soil and they prefer it to be on the acidic side. This location is in full sun, too, and dogwoods are more an understory or edge of the woods kind of tree. I wish it were a viable choice though!

Laurin ~ The winds here have been fierce. We had early blooms of the lovely spring ephemerals but the winds have beaten them to death so they didn't stay looking nice for long. :-(

Beth ~ Thanks, Beth. It's my happy place in summer! I love flowering trees and we've got several others in the garden, all of them various types of crabapple. The willow was just perfect there, but I'm so hesitant to plant another one, thinking we might have the same problem with a new one.

Robin ~ Yeah, I'm thinking the same about another willow. We've already got two smoke trees in the same area, so I don't want another one of those, but a sweet gum would make me happy! We have one up by the house and I know what you mean about the fall color! Fabulous! I love their leaves, too.

Beth ~ We already have three crabapples in the area, with two of them being right in that same garden, so I don't want another one of those. I love redbuds, but we've got one of those closeby too, although it's a weeping one. A regular redbud would be good. They're native here, too. I might go for that!

Diana ~ Well, we kind of knew this day would come, but I was really putting off having to deal with it. I think you're right, although I sure have missed that willow when it was in its hey day. It was perfect.

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