Monday, September 23, 2013


Since the demise of my next door neighbor's forest canopy, my new garden is exposed to a lot more sun, needs endless watering, and is much hotter.
Don't ever think that the beauty of a tree will stop someone from cutting it down.
Silly me!
I feel like I'm in one of those crazy Rube Goldberg machines where one thing kicks another, which knocks over something else, that causes some gizmo to turn. But my Rube Goldberg machine example is much worse.
Because of the loss of trees next door, the wind patterns are all different.
Thus, my giant pecan tree lost this limb. When it fell, it glanced the electric line causing our power to go out!
Fortunately, it was the electric company's line so there was no charge (pardon the awful pun).
However to fix the line, the workmen had to cut down my beautiful orchid tree!
And they had to cut down part of the cherry laurel that was just beginning to cover up the 
MONSTER HOUSE that sprang up behind my garden.
RUBE GOLDBERG would be proud!
Rube Goldberg's self-operating napkin machine.

So PLAN B is to leave the front yard alone and let it become a sunny cottage garden.
But the backyard and side yard need to revert back to a woodland canopy.
I'm going to use two smaller species to do this. One is our native American holly.
I've decided to name my trees because I feel like they are friends. This holly will be called....HOLLY!
It's so logical it makes my head spin.
I'm naming the second holly tree HELENA after a family friend.
As you can see, the third holly is not on my property but just across the orange line. I'm naming it MEL.
That's the guy who ordered all the trees to be slaughtered. So, if he cuts down this one then it will be his namesake that gets the ax. Hopefully he'll spare little MEL.
The other tree I'm using to fill in the canopy will be these little golden rain trees.
Though not a native, they are fast, have beautiful blooms and leaves, they're drought tolerant, withstand hurricanes, withstand excessive heat and cold, and grow at a fast clip. The species is Koelreuteria elegans, not K. paniculata or K. bipinnata which both grow further north.
This one is ten years old. In that time it has outlasted an insect attack, one hurricane, two droughts, two severe freezes, and still it looks beautiful. I've named it Amalie which means 'hard worker'. And she is a hard worker. She provides some beautiful shade for our porch swing.
This one lost a limb due to some raccoons playing on it a year ago. The 4 babies tore it all up but still it survived. It was next to my chicken coop. I've never seen anything like it.
Both the raccoons and the chickens are gone, but the tree remains.
I've named it Bridgette which means 'lofty'. She will be tall(for a rain tree) and beautiful someday.
My last two rain trees were meant to hide the BIG MONSTER HOUSE. Their names are Charlotte (which means 'vigorous') and Deliliah (which means to flirt).
Both of them have a big job to do so I water them well during dry spells.
It takes a lot of faith to think that someday I'll be sitting in the shade of this tiny tree.
By the way, I'm calling her Juliette which means 'youthful'. That she is!
Now it's time to reset the flower pots tipped over from the utility men.
It was late at night and they worked very hard to restore our power in just one hour. So I can't complain.
It will all work out especially since I'm surrounded by beautiful little trees on their way UP!
All for now,


  1. Good on you David and let's hope your friends (trees) will be growing strong and beautiful long after the monster house is old and in ruins.

  2. You've had a bit of plant hassle there but hopefully all the 'ladies' will be fine now and do well :)

  3. You are having a terrible time with tree loss these days. Yikes! I can feel your pain, as I, too, LOVE trees and can't even stand to have them trimmed up. I'm glad you're replanting the back yard. Raintrees are one of my favorites, especially at this time of year. Keep watering and fertilizing and they'll grow quick.

  4. What a nightmare. I never even thought about the wind patterns being different! It's amazing to realize how each tree can make such a difference to so many other things. I like that you've named all your trees, and I hope that your garden will be resilient enough to make it through all the changes without much more damage.

  5. Best wishes for rapid reforestation, David!

  6. Sorry to hear about more of your tree problems. Hopefully this will be the end of it.

  7. Such wee little trees! I'm surprised you didn't spring for larger ones to help hide the monster house. What a nightmare this has all been for you! I do love that you've named your trees. I might try that. :o)

  8. Oh no! Tree cutting always saddens me. Good luck on your new trees though! I hope your girls grow up fast and that you have your shade sooner than you expect.

  9. Gosh, I'm sorry for your garden losses. What an awful situation. Hope the little trees grow fast.

  10. That sucks David!!! I had no idea. But if anyone can make a change, it's you. Let me just leave you with this since I've been writing way too much about birds......I haven't stopped gardening, but I've passed the watering over to someone else so I can focus on birds. My plants are beginning to form a canopy in the garden and it's all starting to fill in nicely. It just sounds like you need to do some tweaking here and there. That really gets me.....lets cut down a tree and put up a big ugly house. In Tucson, people have created island oasis' around their homes and it works. Find plants like bamboo or something to block that wind:) That's what I use along with cactus and oleander around the borders. They've established. The inside plants are the ones getting protection from frost, direct sun, and the bloody wind. Have a good weekend. Chris

  11. How awful, David. I know just how you must feel. It is hard to understand those monster house builders. Everything changes when a large tree is removed. I hope your new trees wil grow fast.

  12. How are your rain trees doing? I sprouted some seeds last year not knowing what they were and am now ready to plant them in the ground. Are they as invasive as I read on the internet?

    1. The rain trees do have lots of little baby tree seedlings, but they are very easy to pull up. It's hard to do so because even as tiny trees, they look like beautiful little tree ferns. Best of luck growing your rain trees. David/:0)


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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