This year we had to say farewell to our 90′ tall blue spruce tree, Bruce, who stood in the center of the front yard. The IPS beetle began munching on him this year and the city delivered a notice saying he had to go. After a tearful goodbye, and a long mourning of the loss of shade and bird habitat, we had him removed. In the above photo you can see how much shade he created over the entire front yard even with the high-sun of summer. Once removed, I was able to utilize the space where he once stood – where I couldn’t grow anything before. I decided that with all the hot sunshine our yard would now receive I would grow sun- and heat-loving tomatoes in the space, giving me more room for other veggies in the existing garden beds. I amended the soil with compost and blood meal since I knew it to be extremely nitrogen deficient, and have since been appreciating the additional growing space. I’m learning it’s important to be able to go with the flow and find the silver-lining when nature decides to throw you a curve ball in your garden.
The fellow who cut Bruce down for me planned to use a portion of the trunk wood to create beetle-kill furniture, and our awesome neighbor to the East, Butch the Gingerbread Man, who is a very talented wood artist, has used the large bark sheet from Bruce’s trunk as rooftops for some of the fairy houses he makes. I’m grateful to see Bruce living on a bit longer through these two gentlemens’ creativity and resourcefulness!