- Published on Monday, 07 November 2011 22:48
Most of October brought us unseasonably warm weather which I'm sure we all enjoyed and were thankful for. Then on Saturday October 29th, we were greeted with a nasty storm usually reserved for the dead of winter. Unfortunately Mother Nature's timing was very poor. Most of us hadn't even begun, never mind completed the gardener's task of preparing our lawns, plants and masonry for the coming winter season. Even Mother Nature herself seemed conflicted as her deciduous trees hadn't fully dropped all of their leaves. It was this combination of heavy wet snow on top of trees full of leaves that has left most of us in disbelief. Once the storm had passed most of us looked out over our gardens with feelings of sadness, anger, frustration, and disappointment. For some it was over the hard earned money that was used to create our own little paradise. For others it meant a deep loss. A loss of a tree or trees that have been with us for many many years like a cherished pet. Others lamented that all of their planning and hard work to implement their dream garden design was in one day, crushed by a unique storm. For some of us though it meant a new challenge. A challenge for us to remain open minded and find the opportunity Mother Nature has presented us with. This destruction gives us the chance to begin anew and re-design the area or areas of our landscapes that were forever changed by that storm.
I lost a thirty year old Florida Dogwood (Cornusflorida) that anchored the front right corner of my home. This beautiful tree was split into four pieces and will now have to be removed. Once I dealt with the sadness of losing such a majestic tree, I began to think of all of the different ways I could re-landscape that corner of the garden. Will I replace it with another ornamental tree like a Prairie Fire Crab Apple (Malus 'Prairie Fire') or a Winter King Hawthorne (Creatagus viridis 'Winter King'). Will I turn this corner from a shade garden into a sunny garden filled with long blooming colorful perennials mixed with ornamental grasses. Or will I simply replace it with a new Cornusflorida. This is the challenge I'm faced with. One that excites me! We all have our own challenges. There will be challenges that we can handle on our own and there will be some that will require us to reach out to those more qualified to help us with our choices. I think the important thing is to accept the inevitable change and embrace the opportunity to create something new. This event reminds us that a garden is a process of evolution. The scale, proportion and function of the hardscape and structure of a garden may last for a long time but the plants will always provide us with a new look and feel. The look and durability of the materials used in the construction of the hardscapes will change over time as well. I know we hate the thought but a gardens appearance is constantly under going change.
I'm going to use that change as an opportunity to be creative and have fun and I invite you to join me! After I clean up the mess I will begin the design process in an effort to create a new focal point for the corner of my house. I'm not sure what I will end up with yet but I know I will enjoy the design process and in a few years this storm and the destruction it caused will be a distant memory as I will be enjoying a new element to my wonderful garden.