Wintertime Fun And Christmas Tree Projects

Lazies, I have an on-going tree-related saga to share. And I found some cute tree related craft projects. So I put them all together for a big tree stew of a blog post. The craft projects interrupt my saga with some nice eye candy.

I’m Not Crazy, I’m A Home Owner
I finally understand the insane behavior of home owners. It’s taken a while, but having been in our house for 8 years, I’ve had more than one learning adventure through the growing pains of ignorance and its repercussions.

Yesterday, in a calculated and passionate attempt at preserving next year’s summertime happiness, I beat the shrubbery with a rake.

It’s not the first time this happened. I did this last year, too.

Why, might you ask, would I feel compelled to attack the shrubbery with a common lawn tool? It’s a long and ugly coming of age story.

This is what our patio area looked like four years ago.

The Love Affair Begins
The nicely landscaped patio sold me on this house. I loved the little tiny backyard, patio framed in a semi-circle of 12 arborvitae trees/shrubs, 4-5 feet tall – cute, almost private, elegant. In a couple of years, they should have grown together into a strong, vibrant lion’s pride of a tall unified hedge.

Eight years later and I’m still waiting.

Disaster Strikes In The Burbs
We had an ice storm four years ago. The storm split the shrubs, peeling them like bananas, to half their height. They sat like that for days, if not a week or more. I can’t remember. When the ice melted, the shrubs did not completely return to their upright and locked position. It was not pretty. Imagine trying to re-seal a banana. They were lumpy and floppy.

Here are the ice covered shrubs after the storm four years ago.

Just as the shrubs were starting to look like they were bouncing back the following summer, they were hit with an infestation of spider mites. The mites sucked the green out of those shrubs, nearly killing them. Darn it.

Get A Second Opinion
I called a tree service for an opinion on whether to keep or replace my little damaged, abused, mite-sucked, lumpy, shrubby landscaping. They said that with love and fertilizer, they would probably bounce back in a couple of seasons. The shrubs provide most of the privacy for our patio area, and removing them might compromise the supporting area of the patio. I really didn’t want them dug up and replaced at the risk of destabilizing the hillside under and around the patio.

So, one more season came and went. We fertilized, we sprayed for mites. The spider mites, who lay eggs for the next season before they die, hatched a fresh family for another feast, but we stopped them early with little damage two years ago.

Eye Candy Alert
Stacking Fabric Christmas Trees from the
Small Object blog. While there,
also check out the Fabric Chain Garland.

More Obstacles
Due to the shade of nearby trees, two of our trees were starting to grow sideways to find sunlight. In the process of doing so, they began to suffocate our shrubs. We removed the two trees. That was hard. I love trees.

Get A Third Opinion
The garden center suggested binding the banana peel structures to each other with old pantyhose due to their support and stretch. Oh do I have lots of those sitting around from days of office work so long ago. This summer we staked the crooked shrubs and bound the wonky ones. My pantyhose can be seen strung around the patio, binding the shrubs like big rubber bands from my past.

Last winter, as well as yesterday, we had a heavy snow fall. And things got wonky out there once again. We had six inches of wet, heavy snow.

Eye Candy Alert
This incredible Button Tree is from
Misadventures of Mama and Jack blog.

Patting Down The Shrubs
I had to take action. So, I geared up, got my rake and a broom, and went to work out back. I gently, methodically, and with a voice only my shrubs can hear, proceeded to work my way around one side of the semi-circle, then back the other side. Tap, brush, shake, repeat. It was like patting down a perp on a cop show.

I freed each precious shrub from the heavy snow that threatens the promise of a private patio haven next summer.

I gave up wondering or worrying about my neighbors laughing at me as I shook-down my shrubs with a rake last year.

They were probably ready for me this year. I’ll be on call for shrubbery snow removal for the remainder of the season. In the meantime, I suspect that you can find a video of my antics on YouTube.

I found both of the crafty tree creations through Whip Up.


[tags]christmas tree[/tags]