Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Do You Want to Hear the Good News First or the Bad News?

October brought good and bad news. I'll start with the bad news: the tree company felled the catalpa that shaded the garden on the west side of the house. This is upsetting on several levels. First, we already lost the silver maple that stood alongside the catalpa tree; together they provided the BEST shade. All the plants that were under their canopies are shade lovers. Second, the silver maple and the catalpa were part of my husband's childhood -- with memories of a hammock and shady places to play in hot summers. Third, the branches of the catalpa framed the garden room's French door.  I would sit in my favorite armchair and take photographs of the birds that rested on the branches as they waited their turn on the bird feeder. I haven't been able to take such natural pictures anywhere else. Yes, the catalpa will be sorely missed.

With the removal of the tree, all shade has gone.

We used the Bartlett tree company; they did a great job from the initial evaluation of the tree by their arborist to the grinding down of the tree stump. We had them grind the silver maple tree stump too. We booked a spider track lift that takes up little space, so Duane had to remove only one panel of fencing. Of course, I photographed the whole procedure:

The silver maple tree was taken down three years ago. They began by reducing the height of its remaining stump.
It's easy to see why the track lift is called a spider.  They removed a dead ash tree first.

The procedure for removing branches was interesting:

1. The man in the bucket wrapped a rope around the branch.
2. He sawed off  the branch
3. Another person on the ground held the end of the rope. They carefully lowered the branch.
They chipped the smaller branches in a machine in a trailer parked on the road.

When they had removed all the branches, they attached a rope to the top of the tree trunk. They cut a wedge out of each side of the trunk before carefully pulling it down to the ground.

Pulling the tree trunk down
When we saw the tree was rotted, we knew we had made the right decision.
The tree company would return a week later to grind down the stumps
Lots of firewood for Duane's brother-in-law's wood-burning stove
SURPRISE: The rope that attached the hammock 60 years ago is embedded in the tree trunk with bark grown around it.
They used a robot-type machine to grind the stumps.

We are so sad to lose our precious tree. We will plant another tree in the spring when we will also decide how to construct some temporary shade in the Serenity Garden.


I received a letter from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society saying they awarded my garden a blue ribbon in their annual garden contest. The contest is open to all types of gardens in three states: Pa, NJ, and DE; there were over 450 entries this year. The judges visited my gardens in July. They awarded points for aesthetic appeal, beauty, innovation, and aesthetic design, plant health, sustainable practices and resourcefulness, edible plants, habitat for pollinators and other plant life, and connections to family, neighbors and/or community. I will receive a 2019 plaque for my garden -- I've received two before -- you can see them in my sidebar. I feel very honored.

This is Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. I'm linking with the lovely Carol at May Dreams Gardens where you can enjoy gardens from around the world. Below are a few flowers in my garden today. Just a handful that have not succumbed to the first frosts.

Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day,
Pamela x

I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited! 
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. It's always sad to lose a beloved tree, but it does offer opportunities for new plants, new vistas in the garden. Congratulations on your blue ribbon. The honors just keep coming!

    1. Thank you, Dorothy. This has been a very special year for me and my garden. I feel blessed.

  2. Oh i also feel sad with the cutting of the memorable trees! We have many trees here but we do not have the sophisticated trucks and professional people doing those. I need to also lessen the trunks of our trees to let more sunshine to other plants. Anyway, so next time you will be planting different plants that do not need shade. Oh different sets of plants again. On the other news, congratulations!

    1. The problem is that I really loved my shade garden. It was so peaceful -- that's why I called it the Serenity Garden.I a hoping to create enough shade that I won't need different plants. It's a challenge.

  3. Its depressing to see old tree being cut down from your place,its almost the part of your family.Lovely blooms,Happy bloggers blooms day.

  4. It’s always heartbreaking to lose a meaningful tree and I feel your pain. The good news is that you get to plan for your new space and start new memories with more new stories to tell. For now, enjoy all the beautiful blooms you still have left in your October garden and celebrate that Blue Ribbon! Congratulations!

  5. Beautiful flowers, and congratulations on the Award!
    The loss of the trees is a sad thing, but a rotted tree is a danger, especially close to the house. Glad the brother-in-law can use the firewood.
    I am a day late, but Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

    1. I was very concerned about the danger the rotting tree posed, so at least I don't have to worry every time we have a storm -- like the Nor'easter that is arriving later today!

  6. I remember how confused the birds were, when our neighbour's tree suddenly fell over - then had to be chopped up and removed.

  7. How sad to lose the tree, all those precious memories. I'm sure it will be replaced with something equally beautiful. Many congratulations on your award, I'm so pleased you had some good news after the bad.

    1. We are going to wait until spring to replace the tree. Haven't decided for sure what to plant. Thanks for your kind words.

  8. Oh... I always dream about having a wide yard with trees to cool down the neighborhood.

    1. We are blessed to have so many trees on our property.

  9. Congratulations on your award! And on the blooms so late in the season.

  10. It must feel very empty without that lovely tree. I still remember a cherry tree from my childhood that had to be felled when I was still young, you can become quite attached to trees! Congratulations for your award it is so well deserved! Sarah x

  11. Now I see why your were sad about losing your trees. I would be disappointed also. You made the right decision after realizing it was rotten inside. My Mom had a tree fall on the back bedroom her house while my oldest son slept. He never awoke!

    I eagerly look forward to seeing how you create shade and what you will change. It is beautiful now and I am sure it will still look awesome.

    Congratulations on the award. You earned it!


  12. It's sad to lose your tree especially when it held so many memories. Congratulations on your award

  13. Congratulations on your award, and I hope you will enjoy planting lots of sunny flowers in your new sunny area (always good to look on the bright side of things...).