Two left feet

I am beginning to have second thoughts about putting so much effort into my Christmas light display in December. Even though it is a lot of fun during the darkest days of winter to have a front garden full of pretty little lights, unwrapping the trees and shrubs is far less satisfying – especially when you are a clumsy old gardener like me.

You may recall my adventure installing the lights last December. Yesterday, as I was taking down the display I had an experience that might have given my neighbors a chuckle while I fumbled and flopped around which ended with me doing repair work on a treasured old conifer.

I was particularly careful as I climbed the ladder and unwrapped the string of lights from my Sequoiadendron giganteum ‘Pendulum’. Back on solid ground I moved the ladder away so I could continue circling the tree as I unwound the lights from their winter home.

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Boulevard'
Even unsheared, 'Boulevard' is a nice conical form. Sheared, like mine, it becomes more dense causing falling men to bounce off of it.

Now, as much as I enjoy Daylilies, what happened next made me less of a fan. I suddenly found myself stumbling in a mound of both the newly emerging foliage and last season’s dried leaves. Trying to regain my balance, I made sort of a hop on one foot that morphed into a pirouette as I spun around, bounced off of a sheared Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Boulevard’ and landed squarely in the middle of my treasured Pinus mugo ‘Sherwood Compact’.

Not sure whether the crackling sound I heard as I hit the ground was me or the dwarf pine, I pulled myself up and brushed off my jeans. Looking around to see if I needed to be embarrassed or not, it appeared as if my new dance moves were unwitnessed so I turned to inspect my pine. Sadly, it now appeared to be a new form of “Nest Pine” because of the large broken branch right in the middle near the ground.

Fortunately, I had my pruners at my side and I cut just beyond the break to a couple of side branches. Removing the broken branch revealed quite a hole, but with some creative fluffing of the remaining branches I was able to cover my mistake very effectively. Perhaps thinning out the interior of this excellent cultivar will be healthy for it in the long run. Hardy as these dwarf mugo pines are, they are not “Falling Ed” proof.

Needless to say, I am feeling the joy of gardening, in a rather painful way today. Now, where is the number for my massage therapist……?

Conifer Lover


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