Saturday, April 25, 2015

Arbor Day 2015

Taking time to appreciate trees and some of the many benefits they provide in begarden's garden. In design school, one of the first things we learned was people need to feel enclosure – floors, walls and a ceiling – in gardens as well as in homes and offices. Trees provide all that and so much more.

Structural interest and a suggestion of ceiling are offered by the neighbor's ornamental pear tree, whose limbs arch gracefully over the fence and beyond.

The pear tree's dark, dense canopy will supply sun-sensitive succulent plants and young dwarf tangerine tree sufficient shade from summer's midday rays, while a showy blossomed, brightly foliaged Desert Willow tree takes center stage.

Side by side inflorescenses of "Purple Splendor" Desert Willow hint of summer's splendid show.

Mature citrus trees provide a sense of place in the garden as they root it to its agronomic past. Line-softening and corner-filling mass are pleasing side benefits, while tall, arching "walls" of dense foliage offer privacy and screen out unwanted views. Even the unwelcome presence of a power pole, itself a repurposed tree, is diminished by the fruit tree's robe of camouflaging foliage.

Trees' own leaf litter carpets the garden's floor, shading soil, sheltering cooperative creatures slithering beneath, while conserving soil moisture and nourishing future growth.

And, abundant fruit production means plenty for sharing with local Food Pantries.

Shade adapted plants, virtually unaided by a gardener's tenacious tidiness, find their way amidst debris while weaving their own tapestry of foliage 'neath sheltering limbs.

As if knowing floors, walls and ceiling were not enough to satisfy the demands of an implacable proprietor, while literally reaching for the skies, hard working trees grace our gardens with...

... attractively colored and textured bark...

... and buzzing bee –, chirping bird –, and fluttering butterfly – attracting abundant blossoms of every hue, all while...

... satisfying hearts, souls, and bodies. Is it any wonder while sheltering us when winds blow, trees laugh so hard at us their limbs shake?

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