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Shade garden now sunny, very sunny

Posted by meldy_nva z6b VA (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 17, 12 at 15:42

To appreciate the difference: when we bought this place, the "shade garden" (on the west side of the house) contained 30+ full-grown trees. Over the years windstorms have taken most those down, so that now there are only about a dozen oaks, of which 6 edge the fence edging the street. The neighbor on our west lost some trees due to lightning strikes, which increased the amount of afternoon sun in the shade garden. Nonetheless, it was still a *shade* garden, mostly getting about 4 hours of sun a day.

Now enter the power company aptly worried about branches taking wires down during a storm. A valid worry in this area as most houses have very large, old, spreading trees shading the streets as well as the lawns. The power company hires tree firms to trim branches away from the lines; this has resulted in the rather odd appearance of a branchless area surrounding the lines but with leafy branches curving above and below the wires. Shade gardens, lawns, driveways and street remained shady.

This year a different firm came to do the semi-decade's trim and branch removal. Hooboy, are they different!! They removed all (that's ALL) branches within 15 feet of the lines, from below the wires up to cloud-height. No more arches of leafy branches to shade the streets. In fact, no more branches from about head-height up are anywhere near the street. We now have half-trees - lawnside leafy, streetside naked trunks. Our street has never (in the past 40+ years) lost electricity due to fallen branches or trees. Lost electricity due to tall trucks ripping out wires, yes; to transformers blowing, yes; to someone cutting a tree which fell onto the wires, yes; to storm damage, no. I look at the travesties lining our streets and wonder what the next brisk wind is going to do...

And my shade garden is no longer shady.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Shade garden now sunny, very sunny

I can identify on several levels. Our city hired "tree trimmers" that trimmed the middle of the trees to avoid the branches hitting the power lines. This is the second spring growth but the trees still look "weird".

When we moved into our house, we planted a couple of shade trees,one was to shade our brand new spa. We planted a bunch of shade plants and it was nice. Just what I wanted. However, the shade tree had to be removed and we ended up having to take out the shade plants and replace them with sun lovers. I miss my shadey spot.
Last point, It is upsetting that the government can come in and alter our property with their actions. Been there.

RE: Shade garden now sunny, very sunny

Meldy, I bought a metric buttload (actual unit of measurement) of "Purple Prince" zinnia seeds to include in party invites a couple months ago and I still have a bunch left over. They love sun, and as 3' colorful annuals that bloom until fall, I think they'd make a great "space holder" as you figure out what to do with your gardens this year. If you email me your addy, I'd be happy to mail you more than you need.

Sorry about your trees.

RE: Shade garden now sunny, very sunny

I know about metric, but I had to look up metric buttload.
That's a lot.

Here is a link that might be useful: Metric Buttlload

RE: Shade garden now sunny, very sunny

Jaz~ Thanks for the offer, that is so kind of you. I have lots of zinnia seed because the goldfinches are especially fond of them. DH plants 2 beds plus edging 'his' garden just for the birds.

First, I have to lift and move or give away the existing shade plants. We've had 3/4 inch rain since February; you can imagine how dry the ground is! This project may need a BBQ dinner for DD and her husband~ as an exchange for the use of his muscles. It's not just being 30 years younger, he's the guy who last year spent most of a day helping split wood, lifting 50-lb logs with one hand. Never broke a sweat.

RE: Shade garden now sunny, very sunny

Our city has to come in and trim trees too. I wish they would just REMOVE the tree. I got tired of them whacking at my silver maple, making it lopsided. It was ugly, but not only that, I was worried it would fall over and cause even more damage. I tried to convince them to cut it down (they have taken out other people's trees), but they told me no. I probably could have fought it a little harder, but I just gave in and paid for it to be taken down. Ouch. It's an expensive item.

I drive past houses on some of our major roads that have trees cut in the V shapes to accommodate the wires. I can't say I like those any better than my lopsided trees, although at least they are more balanced.

I've been trying to establish a shade garden, it is not easy!

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