For many years a large spruce tree stood at the top of the steps to our front door. We decorated it with lights every Christmas, turning the tree into a celebration of the season. On winter days when all was white, its dark green needles added a welcome touch of colour.
I don’t have a photo of the spruce with Christmas lights nor at any time in winter, and the one above is one of only a few photos I have that show it at the top of the steps that lead to our front door. I think that’s because the tree was there when we moved into the house, 25 years ago, the sort of permanent fixture that is easy to ignore and doesn’t cry out to be photographed.
Recently, though, I stopped ignoring the tree. I couldn’t help but look and feel sad at what I was seeing. The tree looked tired. It was showing its age. We added some tlc but regardless of what we did, the spruce didn’t spruce up.
Its health wasn’t the only problem. The tree had become too tall and its height threw the plantings around it out of balance. I lived with this for a year or two but in early spring, I decided I needed to make a change. The tree had to go.
The wonderful can-do-everything-guy Jacques Gosselin removed it, leaving a gaping hole behind.
As every plant lover knows, though, emptiness is a merely a hole in search of a plant to fill it. Below is the view now, with three gorgeous multi-stemmed birch trees in place.
To position the new birch trees we had to move some plants to avoid damaging them. Once they were dug and laid out on a tarp, I was amazed to see how many there were.
The anemones (Anemone canadensis) and lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis) drooped a bit in the sunshine, and since it took longer than we thought to position the birch trees correctly, the plants remained a bit droopy the following day. Thankfully, they are now perking up nicely.
The trees and the plants around them should be in good shape by June 25, the first of the four days this summer that we will open the garden to the general public. Tickets are available at https://glenvillaartgarden.com/open-garden-days-tours/