Friday, May 18, 2012

Sun To Shade




The three Zelkovas planted two years ago (or was it one?) are growing rapidly. The front yard garden used to get sun until 2 or so in the afternoon during May. Now, the shade sweeps across the garden from morning on; only a band of sunlight remaining during the early hours. The Zelkovas are not yet tall enough to block out the noon day sun of June, but they will be by next year, I think. This whole garden will change from yarrow, sedum, and roses to dicentra and monkshood in a few years.

The city planted these three trees, which form a wide V-shape, less than 8 feet from the building. Not well considered. One is directly in front of our stoop. When you stand at the top step you can tickle your face with the Zelkova's lanceolate leaves. The branches of the Zelkovas are low, and we are ducking under them to walk the sidewalk, yet unwilling to prune after neighborhood stories of fines for doing so. No, I do not want to become a certified pruner or whatever the title is. I understand the city's rationale, it's understandable, but I'm busy. Maybe this summer I will concoct a post on the "dumbness" of the Million Trees Program, maybe.

But it's not all complaints. This stretch used to be awfully hot in summertime, and now there is a light shade, a real comfort. Eventually our apartment will be less hot, reducing ac use, which we will like. The trees decorate this stretch of our small block, overall it makes the neighborhood softer, somehow more generous.

The New Dawn rose is becoming a monster with a twelve-foot span and ten foot height despite being increasingly shaded by the Zelkovas. This rose is incredibly healthy, even though it was ripped from another garden 4 or 5 years ago. The main stem is massively thick, and I can hardly keep the leaders under control. All three roses in this garden are exceptionally healthy and I regard the 8 hours of early sun and the heat reflected from wall and concrete to be the reason. Too much humidity, dampness, high dew points, and shade will take a rose down. Given the growth of the Zelkovas, I'll need to move mine before it comes to that.

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