Sunday, March 25, 2012

An old friend finds a new home in the garden

Last summer we finally hacked down the rotted willow tree in our yard.  The willow was decrepid.  Willows don't do well in dry California.  The only reason I think it was planted by the insane tropical gardener who previously owned our home was to feed the gynormous philadendron. (savage gardening anyone?) In any case it had rust so out it went. Unfortunately this left a gaping hole into our neighbor's yard.  Who, though very nice, opted for the low maintenance basketball court in their yard instead of any greenery.

We, being bonsai folks and tree fanatics in general, agonized over finding the "perfect tree".  We toyed with the idea of a green japanese maple, but we wanted something larger than an ornamental.  Everything local was grafted and the price of a decent (more than a foot tall) tree was insane.

Then around rolls spring and one of our favorite bonsais starts to leaf.  We've had this elm for over 12 years.  It somehow survived our crazy anti-bonsai Weimairaner who liked to pull trees from their pots.  The form is lovely and Mr. has trained it's roots over a big rock.  And the light goes on.  We love this tree so giving it a forever home (OK I know that's sappy) actually meant something powerful to us.

I was a little concerned as we haven't trimmed this guys roots in a long time.  And sure enough it was root bound but the roots weren't strangling the tree so I think it'll do fine.

And here it is in place.

And as a bonus for all you savage gardeners.  Here's a closeup of the bloom on the philadendron who is still devouring the remainder of the willow stump.


  1. It wasn't a sappy story at all! Besides, bonsai elms don't have much sap do they? I'm happy you gave it a forever home and I'm sure it will thrive.

  2. This is a beautiful story. This shows how much nature means to you. If only everyone had the respect for Mother Earth, as you do.