My advice is to do what I always do when battling problems.  Throw a little creativity into the mix.  Add, even if you are subtracting.  Less can be more.

With ice, it is the continual hauling and burning that makes one crazy.  Building something feels so much better, especially if you can repurpose what Nature chose to eliminate.


This lonely start of a garden has been ignored for a decade or more.  It has possibilities, because the berm on which the evergreens are planted is higher than the rest of this sandy beach of acreage.  What it actually is, is the dirt that was removed to lay the foundation for the studio.  When we bought this place, it had been sitting there since 1978!   The trees which used to live in the footprint of the studio were likewise ignored and piled up in another place.  First thing I did as an owner was to burn all that up, becoming a conflagration professional.


For a while, we had three tree-pees of cedar supporting scoppernong grape vines behind the low evergreens on the berm,  but they did not grow well and I hate those grapes anyway.   When the ice was finished and we started to clean up I tore those out,  plus the vines and other scrubby interlopers.  In a way, the ice made it easier to see what had to be removed.


Strange, but much of the lanky unwanted stuff stealing the sun from a fine volunteer magnolia to the left of this picture, were about five small tree trunks growing from each of the damaged and felled trees during our MAJOR ice storm of 2004.  After clearing away this time, we painted the cuts with a chemical that will kill them.


This berm garden will mirror another long garden which is between the studio and the house;  a helpful “repeat” in the allover landscape composition.


The outside wall surrounding the pool is not pleasing in winter, and since it lost the biggest red bud last week, it is even sadder.  You can see the remaining trunk at the leftmost section of the wall.  These three red buds, one in each section between columns,  were a study in sunlight.  The surrounding woods affected the trio dramatically, the now lost tree ten times the size of the tree at the right.


Above are some sections of the big red bud tree, doing another job in the landscape.  The surrounding of the circular gardens with logs started in 2004, in a former effort to feel better about all the ice damage.  We now add trunks to these circular boundaries whenever the woods provide.




  1. You could plant a living wall of shrubs around the outside pool wall. Or you could start a massive tile project that would cover the outside of the wall as artfully as the inside is tiled.

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