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Garden Photo of the Day

One Unique Focal Point

By Kim Charles

A large area around the tree was covered in thick ivy which had to be dug out.  Plantings in place now are mostly shallow rooted varieties since the tree's big anchor roots are still very much in evidence so anything with a large or deep root ball will have to wait. 

Victoria of south central Indiana has created a special focal point.

"Sad circumstances often make for engaging changes.  Three years ago our huge beech tree had to be cut down.  It dominated the backyard and provided lots of wonderful shade for the patio.  Since it was hollow from top to bottom it had to be removed but the wide base, about four feet in diameter, filled with zinnias, ornamental sweet potatoes, and nasturtiums now makes a great focal point.  Planting out this new sunny area and adding to existing beds and renovating others in the back yard has created a lot of work for me but has been, and continues to be, an interesting challenge.  I hope you enjoy the pics."

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Last fall my handy husband built a limestone platform to level the area underneath the wisteria arbor and added stone benches.  Imagine my surprise when the wisteria bloomed wildly this spring.  Proof positive that root disturbance (to be nice we call it root pruning) will bring on lots and lots of flowers.
Looking to the north the existing border on the right has been extended on both ends. 
This area, east of the tree stump, now gets much more reflected sunlight and some plants are happier for that…others have been relocated. 

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Comments

  1. frankgreenhalgh 09/09/2016

    Hello there Victoria & your 'handy husband' - Boy that is a big tree stump! The beech must have been a good age. Bet it cost plenty to remove it. It is funny how things often turn out for the best, although removal of the tree obviously resulted in a lot of extra work and re-designing for you guys. Love the flowering wisteria. Thanks for sharing. Cheers, Frank

    Blog admin. & fellow GPOD'ers - Still not sure what is happening with the order of the new posts on the GPOD web-site. This one is positioned behind two older posts, and hence, some readers may not see it (e.g. if only using the web-site for notifications). I'm wondering if admin. should place dates on each post - ????????????

    1. user-7007498 09/09/2016

      Hello, Frank. The garden tour went well. A bus with 38 Aussies descended upon me. It was a hot and humid day (95 degrees F and very sticky). This was a very friendly and knowledgable group. We all had a good time. The Tim Tams were a big hit.

      1. frankgreenhalgh 09/09/2016

        Fantastic Kev. I'm glad they enjoyed themselves and appreciated your lovely garden and your huge effort getting the garden ready for the tour. Also glad that the Tim Tams didn't melt in the heat. The Aussies should have been OK with the heat.but the humidity could have been problem depending on where they came from Oz.

        You may be interested in the story behind a Wollemi pine I just planted in my rainforest area. Wollemi pines (not a real pine) were discovered in a remote wilderness area near Sydney in 1994, and have been propagated for conservation reasons. Fossils of it date back 200 million years ago i.e. when Australia was part of Gondwana land (i.e. joined with Africa and Antarctica etc.) It has white polar caps covering the growing tips during winter (see pic.), and these are thought to have enabled this living fossil to survive many ice-ages. Cheers, Frank

        1. user-7007498 09/09/2016

          Love the Wollemi pine. The needles look very flat. Are they soft? It is pretty cool to have a plant that has such a long history on the earth, especially after it was thought to be extinct.

          The tour group came from an area around Brisbane. The organizer from Buderim?

          1. frankgreenhalgh 09/09/2016

            Kev., was that Bundaberg? They should have been used to the humidity. The leaves of the Wollemi pine are leathery.

            There is re-positioning happening on the web-site, but these comments are not included on the second post of this story. The other post also has 2 extra pics. Enough is enough!

  2. user-7007498 09/09/2016

    Victoria: It is certainly sad when we lose a dominant landscape feature such as a tree. That said, we all know that in gardening, the only constant is change. Obviously this has created more opportunities for changing your plant palette, which you have been working on. It is cool how you can "celebrate" the stump and design around it.

    The wisteria blooms are beautiful. Thanks for sharing your story.

    1. frankgreenhalgh 09/09/2016

      Gee Kev. I was going to ask how the tour went, and then saw your note below. Thanks

  3. User avater
    meander1 (Michaele ) 09/09/2016

    First some venting..., having gpod all goofed up is like the sun setting in the morning and rising at night...it is throwing me off, for sure. Ok now that little grumble is out of my system, to use a midwestern expression..."anyhoo"...let me concentrate on Victoria's great lemonade from lemons solution. Without a doubt, the departure of a major tree is always a sad thing but then we gardeners start looking on the bright side. It's always fun to have a reason to create a colorful flower bed and you are doing a great job with your choices for around and on top of the beech stump. And lucky you to have such prolific wisteria blooms! Don't be surprised if within a year or two, your wisteria vine is holding up the arbor instead of vice versa.

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