The Daily Muse

A Garden Journal -- December 2002

Last Update:  December 9

December 9 - morning

A heavy rain has been falling for hours preventing me from taking my morning tour of the garden. I am enjoying the sound of the rain on our new metal roof, but wishing that I could be out looking at the bigtooth maples in the garden that have turned a beautiful soft orange color. We had our first freeze last week and a few things got burned, so I am anxious to do a little clean up.

Maples in our backyard

We just finished an exhausting, but very satisfying week that included my partner's PhD graduation ceremony and a visit from his family. My parents-in-law, and four of his sisters stayed with us for a few days. It was wonderful spending time with them. The highlight of the week was a big celebration that included my mom and dad and dozens of our friends. Late in the evening, as the group dwindled down to family and just a few close friends, we sat outside around our chimenea (outdoor fireplace;)  surrounded by our garden and by people I love , I couldn't help but feel like the luckiest person on earth.

December 18 - morning

It is an unusually balmy morning, damp and almost warm. Not very Christmas-like, I'm afraid. Despite the weather, I am very much looking forward to the quiet of the holidays. I have much work to do in the garden and I can't wait to get to it. Everything is buried under mountains of elm  leaves that need to be gathered and composted.

We are actually planning on removing several more of our lacebark elms. Though they are attractive trees, they are extremely weedy- we have to hand pull tens of thousands of seedlings every year. Even more importantly, several are about to "collide" with our cypress allee. Cypress trees absolutely require full sun if they are to develop straight trunks and symmetrical forms, and  I am prepared to sacrifice the elms to give the cypresses the room they need to flourish. A few of my friends feel that this is pretty tyrannical, if not cruel, but I feel compelled to pursue the grand plan for the garden. (The sign of a tyrant?) We may have removed dozens of trees, but we have also planted at least thirty three new ones.

A dense fog seems to settling in- a good time for a wander around the garden. Best wishes to you this holiday season!

Continue to January 2003

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