Friday, May 6, 2011

Cryptomeria update

Before --

Change is inevitable in a garden, often for the good but sometimes not. I posted a few months ago about the sad state of the Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) that has been a focal point and conversation piece in our garden for many years. Our county extension agency man came by and said that it appeared the tree had been attacked by spider mites. Spider mites!?!

Considering the size of the tree, spraying was out of the question (I think it was too far gone anyway). I made the painful decision to limb the tree up and  use the trunk as a support for a climbing rose. I've been removing the lower branches and I've already transplanted the "Peggy Martin" rose in front of it. I also transplanted a "Quickfire" hydrangea that I hope will grow fast and at least bring back the screening effect that was once there. I've yet the cut the remaining branches at the top and I'm hoping that I can chop the upper half of the tree off without killing myself.

The tree was not only a focal point in a corner of the border but it divided the area between the rose borders with that of the waterfall area next to the garage, creating a "room" effect. Now, all is open and gaping. There is a beautiful view of the rose and pergola coming down the steps next to the waterfall but I've yet to embrace this new change. Only time will tell.

After --

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

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