My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

"I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills," William Wordsworth

My Garden – rain and driveway trees


Wonderful warm rain fell yesterday. We were warned there might be some heavy falls but that didn’t happen in our area. However, the humid north-easterly wind gusted at times and caused me some grief in that it caused a very large branch to snap but not sever one of the mature Gleditsia Tricanthos trees (Sunburst – a thornless variety) that line our driveway. While was I sadly thinking about the loss of this leafy haven to countless birds, himself had nipped into his workshop and sharpened his chainsaw so to deliver the final and cruel cut! These trees are so graceful and fresh at present in their lime green. The animals not only love resting in the shade but also just love eating the seed pods and the foliage.  

driveway-trees.jpg Driveway in early winter lined with mature bare-branched Suburst Gleditsia Tricanthos and Liquidamber trees and Leyland Cypress stumps along fence-line.   

And hearing the chainsaw rip into the timber reminded me of the 100 Leyland Cypress  we had felled in the summer of 2005. These trees were originally planted as a shelter belt about 25 to 30 years ago (well before our time here). They lined the other side of our 200m long driveway, were never pruned and grew too high and wide. Planted so close together, they cast deep shadows. Bark had grown over the fence wires. Some trees seemed to be dying off or have signs of rot. The tree felling gang was amazing the way each of the guys worked as a team. The first guy cut the large branches off the trunk starting from the base and working up. A second guy trimmed these fellings. Chainsaw screech!  The third guy hefted the trimmings into a large heavy-strength chipper that added its loud rumbling base sounds to the chainsaw cacophony. The shredded material spewed into the back of their truck (we had this dumped in another area to be composted). A heavy rope was tied around the cleared tree trunk and tensioned by the truck before and as the first guy cut at the base of the trunk to fell the tree in a precise spot. Upper branches were trimmed and the resulting log was loaded onto a truck. And so it went. 100 trees felled (it’s a lot of firewood!), tree debris cleared, fence posts still standing and everyone safe. That’s why such a job must be done by professionals. Himself was very happy!

As it happens in our area, such a lifestyle block activity has to be viewed and discussed by the neighbours at the end of the day. Men drank beer and talked at length about chainsaws. Women decided which tree was to reline the western side of our driveway. I baked pizza and poured the wine. That’s what it’s about!

Don’t know if the colour of the wine finally determined the choice of the tree or not, but last July (our wintertime) I planted ten well-spaced and mulched Ruby Lace trees (another thornless variety of  Gleditsia Tricanthos). In our collective wisdom, we thought the ruby reddish-bronze colour would look nice along the driveway against the soft green foliage of the other trees in the spring.

ruby-lace.jpg  Ruby Lace tree summer foliage. It was planted in July 2006 as 2-year old bare root-stock, field grown tree.

Author: Jenny

A few years ago when I began blogging, I was in awe of the creative, the witty, the informative, the insightful posts by writers on WordPress. I was challenged by my son to write, to set up a blog, to expand my garden diary scribblings. Never did I think from scratching and grubbing in my garden dirt would sprout words of reflection, thoughts about life lived as I know it. My garden is where I lose myself, or as Himself likes to tell others, I lose either my coffee mug or wine glass. Well at least I do put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. Always, there's something to write or chat about life lived as I know it. I have a certain sense of amazement that my blogging community is expanding. In a previous life, I once was a teacher. A four-walled classroom is an artificial construct. When thirty or so teenagers with diverse learning needs filled the space, the more I listened, the more I observed my students, the more I learned. They had stories to tell, to write of things that interested them. Luckily for me we embarked on amazing journeys of discovery and learned together. Some say a lifestyle block is a no-lifestyle block. We like being able to grow seasonal food, to enjoy fresh air and open space. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older stage of our life together, but family commitments continue. And so it another phase of discovery happens as I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and a menagerie of living creatures who rule the roost.

2 thoughts on “My Garden – rain and driveway trees

  1. Ahh the sounds of chainsaws and chippers all ending in a refreshing round of beers for the men and wine for the women. Wine colored discussions of future tree planting done in the accompaniment of friends.

    What a blessed life.

  2. Hi Jenny,

    I too recently planted gleditsia ruby lace, but have found the bark to be peeling from most of the tree including the branches,

    After doing a quick google search to find out once for all what this is, to no avail, i found your blog, and thought maybe you know of the problem.

    Any clues would be appreciated.



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