Sunday, December 30, 2007

What is it about people and trees?

Branches ripped off our spruce trees

I got very upset yesterday as I walked down the road right beside our pond and the neighboring tree farm. A day of so before there were a couple of guys out there in a pick-up truck (hunting maybe?) and, of course, as it's been mild around Christmas and it's just a snow-covered dirt road, they got stuck.

So what did they do to get themselves out? They ripped branches off our spruce trees to put under their wheels to give them traction.

I was livid when I saw the broken, driven-over branches. Too bad we didn't catch them in the act. My husband John tells me that they got stuck very early in the morning, but he didn't see how they got out.

I've also caught women getting out of their cars where our property fronts the road ripping branches off our trees and shrubs for Christmas decorations. What makes them think they have the right to disfigure trees and shrubs that we have planted and that we care about? This sort of behavior drives me around the bend.

© Yvonne Cunnington, Country Gardener

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My coolest gardening gift

My favorite Christmas present this year was a pair of Cray print secateurs given to me by my sister-in-law who was visiting from London, England. "Cray" is a famous chintz design by William Morris from 1884.

The pattern comes from a volume of wallpapers now housed in the Arts and Crafts Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. If you want your own pair, here's a link to them.

I haven't blogged much since the upheaval of the fall when we embarked on a renovation of half the house, which included a new kitchen and took two months, plus a month of move-in and recovery.

The picture here taken in the new kitchen shows the triumphant cook, whose locally raised free-range turkey roasted in the new convection oven was the best Christmas turkey ever.

In any case as the new year is almost upon us, I'm now ready to start thinking and writing about gardening again.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Quick end-of-season drought note

The season's unprecendented drought, which I wrote about obsessively all summer - the driest it's been in almost 50 years in southern Ontario - never really broke.

The fall continued to be very dry, and we didn't get a decent rainfall until after US Thanksgiving (Nov. 22). Then - just before the cold weather arrived - we got more than two inches on two rainy days. This weekend, we're in for a winter storm with freezing rain. Not good!

And what's ahead? More cold: Environment Canada predicts that the weather this winter could be the coldest in nearly 15 years. It will be interesting to see how the trees survive the drought followed by serious cold.