Gaiety Hollow is an old garden, as you know.  The lovely small hedges and decorative trees have become huge, so the problem of scale is now on the agenda…big time!  The problem becomes how to strike a balance between the original intent when the garden was planted, and the fact of maturity in an historic garden.  It took Darin 12 hours to prune the massively overgrown hedges at the front of the house.  He saved some sections for infill and when we got there today Gretchen Carnaby, David Lichter and Joyce Zook were hard at work…take a look…

hedges 3

hedges 4

hedges 2

blue wheelbarrowhedges 4.5hedges 5

hedges Joyce

He didn’t prune the inside of the hedges…Gretchen said next year or the year after for that…when the street-side has filled out…

Hedges 1

but the BIG news for today was the arrival and planting of the new white oak to replace the fallen giant, the donation of John Miller.  Adam volunteered to work on digging the chips from the old oak out of the dirt left in the hole.  Any chips of the old tree will rob nitrogen from the new tree and retard healthy growth…

Adam 1

David and Joyce jumped in to help, along with arborist Woody Dukes assessing the chip-to-dirt ratio… (it looked a little like a needle in a haystack…)

chip removal



coffee break

(I DIDN’T get a shot of the Townsend’s Warbler with it’s nose in the camellia)


Woody pointed out the snow damage in the camellias…

snow damage

and worse yet, the squirrel damage.  The squirrels are killing off the tops of various camellias by girdling the trees to eat the bark.  Look just above Woody’s finger and you can see where the bark has been gnawed off…

squirrel damage

just below the stripped trunk is a strong shoot in healthy bark, so in due course Woody will remove the now yellowed and dying top and the new shoot will fill in.

Gretchen pointed out to me one of the next projects…an espaliered camellia that is very overgrown, and is going to be massively pruned…here it is today, with Gretchen’s note that it has a strong interior structure…so stay tuned for the results…

future prune


On our way out we checked the new little white oak, waiting to be planted…

new oak

A lot of activity for the sunny and bright last day of February!