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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Winter Garden Disaster!

The good news: Whoever did this during the night was not present in the morning. So I assume that they are alive and well enough to drive away.  They did not hit the mailbox, nor did they hit the electrical pole. 


It has been extremely cold out lately. The high today was 13F (-10.6C) and the low was 6F (-14.4C).  It has snowed, and we live at the bottom of a hill... it was bound to happen.

You can't see under the snow in this picture, but there is a small,  triangular garden bed that sits on the edge of our property, in the front yard, near our mailbox.  Last summer, I planted a liberty apple tree there just behind the box bush that was already there when we moved in to the house.  I had also planted several bulbs in the fall.

As you can see, the tree is a goner.  The bush is badly damaged.  I will probably have to remove it. Strangely, this isn't the first apple tree that I have lost in the winter.  At my last home, I planted a liberty apple in the back yard that got run over by the DTE truck which drove into the yard to fix an electrical pole, and was blind to my poor tree.  The tree was flattened like the one in the
picture above.  It wasn't even under the electrical line! It was just between the road and the pole at the opposite side of the yard. That incident actually made me very angry because it was caused by someone's carelessness and inconsideration. At least this time I can choose to believe that it was an unavoidable accident.

Lesson learned:  Do not plant new trees in areas where people are likely to slide off the road and crush them. 

Original plan for this garden bed: Originally, I had planned to plant butterfly & bee friendly perennials and annuals in this small plot along with some bulbs.  However, I had planned for the apple tree to grow to its maximum height of 15 feet (4.6 meters) so that it would disguise the electrical pole in the front yard without interfering with the electrical line itself.

The new plan:  I will still plant the pollinator-friendly perennials. In place of the tree I may either plant a less expensive bush such as a red twig dogwood, or a tall ornamental grass.  Either of these would get tall and disguise the pole a bit.  Neither would be so tall as to interfere with the wires.  I would also be less upset if either got run over by another car.  While I like the look of a dogwood bush better, the grass might stand up to motor-vehicle carnage more successfully.  My ultimate decision will be made in the garden in the spring as I browse plants.  I will, of course, post update pictures for this garden bed once I have replanted it.

I will be planting a new liberty apple in the spring. While I have had bad luck with them with regard to motor vehicles, I have had excellent luck with them as a cultivar in general.  The first tree that I planted made buckets of apples and had zero pest problems before it was crushed to death by the DTE people. The apples were fantastic in apple butter and pie filling as well.  They were also fairly good to eat out of hand.

This time, I will plant the liberty apple in the back yard.  There is a spot in the garden near some already established bushes where I think it will look well and thrive.

You know what they say, "hope springs eternal"! 

In the mean time, I might throw in the towel for a few months and just hibernate.

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