It was an incredible 70° when the arborists came to work in our small neighborhood. I knew they were coming and I looked forward to it, hoping to have an input on certain flora in our small landscape… most of all the common lilacs. Last March when we moved here, the shrubs were without leaves. Odd looking, I thought, that these tall lilacs are growing at such an extreme angle to reach the sun. I cut out just the dead limbs from the lilacs and trimmed some of the pine boughs that gave the most shade and looked forward to spring and glorious lilac blooms.
But the blooms were sparse and the shrubs struggled. I trimmed a few more pine boughs. But after a summer living with these sad lilacs, I knew they would never do well with towering pines as companions. They were too shaded, leggy, covered with powdery mildew, and some were infested with white peach scale. Thankfully, our landscape committee agreed. The arborists arrived armed with power saws and removed every one from under the pines…. a good decision. They also limbed up the pines fairly randomly…. and when they left, I climbed our pines and sawed every dead branch up as far as I dared. (I cannot tolerate dead branches.)
Although I was (mostly) satisfied with the results of the day’s work, I was not prepared for the new association I have with neighbors. Yes, we have a new garden area with exciting opportunities but for a while, smiling neighbors can wave to each other. Before the sun had set on the day, I planted two rhodies that I bought in anticipation of this new hole in the living hedge. In the spring, more developments will materialize. My plan is on paper now!