My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

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

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 put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. As I see it, we are here on this place to respect and to preserve nature, not to develop the land. I love how the totara trees stand in silent witness to our human activity. They keep me honest. I love to wander along the stream bank. I like being able to grow fruit and vegetables. I enjoy green open space. My son challenged me to write a blog using my garden diaries to start. Writing a blog is quite different to my diary scribblings. It is for a different audience. In every post, I have to make a conscious effort to get free of an academic style of writing. I write about things I know and do in my everyday life. I am not a photographer but the images I use are taken by me. I believe this adds veracity to my voice in each post. Learning to setup and to manage a blog has been a major effort and remains a work in progress. Who knows where this will lead. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older phase of our life together. But family commitments continue. As it happens, I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and living creatures who live charmed existences. I watch on as they serve as actors weaving their ways across the stage of daily life. Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; Always, there's something to write about life lived as I know it.

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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