O Christmas Tree

Over the summer, I started on a project to remove 3 Leyland cypress trees in my yard.  I was eager to get going on it before they put on any further growth — they had almost tripled their original height of about 6 ft since they were planted in October 2008. Scary! But I also didn’t want to spend the summer without any screening greenery, so I left two out of the three until now.  A cryptomeria has taken the place of the one we first removed in the far corner.

Yes, I want something evergreen and tall along the back fence, but 50+ feet tall is too much. Through November, I had been pruning out the lower limbs.  But the time had come to get the job done.  Thanksgiving weekend was sunny and mild.  Perfect for yard work.

before

I had help from the whole family.

leyland_removal1

leyland_removal2

leyland_removal3

leyland_removal4

I prepared myself to feel very discouraged about not having any more screening in the back yard. And about starting over with small plantings.  But I was surprised by how exhilarated I felt, especially the next day when I put some new plants in the ground.

leyand_replacement8

And the feeling remains with me as I gaze out the door to the back fence. I’m relieved that I no longer need to rely on a professional designer’s advice. The decisions I’m making now are a milestone — planning and planting what feels right for my own space according to my own aesthetic, based on educating myself about gardening.

leyland_replacement1

Nothing fancy or exciting yet.  I’m happy to move a Pacific waxmyrtle, Morella californica, (native shrub/tree) into this area.  And for now, moving a yew shrub, Taxus x media ‘Hicksii,’  over will do for filling in.  I’m most excited about the tiny little variegated buckthorn, Rhamnus alaternus ‘Argenteovariegata’ I’m using to flank my baby magnolia.  It’s hard to even see the puny things now.

leyland_replacement7

Here’s  a closer look.

buckthorn

I used to dislike variegated foliage.  But I got inspired earlier this year by this landscaping at McMenamin’s Chapel Pub on N. Killingsworth St.

leyland_replacement

IMG_2500

It no longer looks like this since they constructed a new outdoor seating area in this very spot as shown recently on Danger Garden.  Here’s another example of this light colored broadleaved evergreen lighting up the understory on NE 15th Ave at NE Thompson St.

leyland_replacement5

IMG_8069

I’ve gotten off on a tangent though — a long discussion and lots of photos for this buckthorn that gets called a “shrub” on most nursery tags. (It is however included in Sean Hogan’s book Trees for All Seasons, Broadleaved Evergreens for Temperate Climates.) By now you’re surely wondering about the title of this post, ‘O Christmas tree.’

Here’s what happened to the trees that were a pile on my patio a few weeks ago.

christmas_tree1

My daughter helped to load up the greens.  They are on their way to Thicket for holiday greenery in exchange for a Christmas tree.  Thank you, Adria!

Thicket_wreath

I can’t think of a better use for Leyland cypress, can you?

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Garden tree and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to O Christmas Tree

  1. Julie Fukuda says:

    That looks like a win / win all the way around. I love that little buckthorn and am impressed with that amazing amount of family help.

  2. Kate says:

    Hello, I can’t garden like I used to so I’m glad I found your blog, I’m really enjoying following it. I know that feeling of huge satisfaction when you’ve worked in your garden – I used to stand almost for hours, just looking and enjoying the small steps towards making the garden mine. Thanks for all the great pictures.

  3. It was like you were speaking directly to me when I read “I prepared myself to feel very discouraged about not having any more screening in the back yard. And about starting over with small plantings. But I was surprised by how exhilarated I felt, especially the next day when I put some new plants in the ground.” I am very worried about loosing my privet screening and worried about how exposed the back garden will feel. You give me hope it will be a good feeling when it is done.

    And yay for your Thicket foliage exchange, that was a great way to recycle those beautiful greens.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s