Turning Tragedy into Triumph

Fallen Trees Blog#1 in A Garden for All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Two Fallen Trees Hurricane 2011 (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

Weather wise, 2011 was a challenging year for those of us in New England.  January started with heavy snow fall, a sign of things to come.  Then the devastating hurricanes in August caused great floods, followed with a freak snow storm in October that resulted in thousands of trees being completely destroyed.  Up until 2011, Connecticut had been relatively fortunate as far as wide spread weather related tragedies go.

All around the world we are seeing severe storms creating unprecedented damages.  Across the country, hundreds of thousands of heirloom trees are burned to death in fires, stripped of their branches by harsh winds or felled during heavy floods.  Just as your family antiques are irreplaceable treasures, so too are the established trees of our landscape.  Once they’re gone, they’re gone forever.

So, after the hurricane had transformed my yard into a disaster area, I decided to turn the tragedy of two huge felled trees on the lawn into an opportunity to create something positive.  Once the trees were cut up and removed, I got to work installing a garden where the two stumps resided.

The shrub I chose to fill the space was the Aesculus parviflora, more commonly known as Bottlebrush buckeye, which is from the horse chestnut family and has the same five to seven palmate, deep green leaves.  Over time the Aesculus will fill in beautifully, growing wider at 15’ than taller at up to 12’ high.  Bottlebrush buckeye is native to the South Eastern United States, hardy to zones 5 – 8, prefers moist soil and likes shade from hot afternoon sun. A deciduous shrub, it leafs out in May, produces a glorious display of white candelabra flowers in July and ends the season with curious, tiny pear shaped fruits adorning the multiple branches.

To see this shrub in maturity, visit the Wave Hill Public Garden, which is quietly nestled along the Hudson River, in Northwest Bronx, NY.  Wave Hill, a public garden since 1960, consists of 28 acres brimming with heirloom trees, established and eclectic plantings and breathtaking views of the Hudson River.  www.wavehill.org/

Bottlebrush #2 Blog in A Garden for All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Bottlebrush Buckeye (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

And for those of you that have lost a home or garden, my heart goes out to you.  I hope to have inspired you to begin anew.

 

 

 

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