Saturday, December 27, 2014

I got those sugar maple blues

Uh oh. That's all I could think when I saw this remarkable sugar maple at Awbury Arboretum yesterday. It's an apt and glorious greeting, entirely appropriate at a place like Awbury, which reveres its trees. But what about my sugar maples? They're less than a decade old and already they're huge. Already, too, I'm worried that they'll get as big as this one, which is far too big for the space out in front of my house. And oh, the sidewalk!

I got those sugar maple blues

Uh oh. That's all I could think when I saw this remarkable sugar maple at Awbury Arboretum yesterday. It's an apt and glorious greeting, entirely appropriate at a place like Awbury, which reveres its trees. But what about my sugar maples? They're less than a decade old and already they're huge. Already, too, I'm worried that they'll get as big as this one, which is far too big for the space out in front of my house. And oh, the sidewalk!

If you read my story in the Home & Design section last week - second and last installment coming this Friday - you know that I've learned some difficult lessons with my ever-evolving garden. Unfortunately, they don't include this one - trees like sugar maples need more room than you can imagine. Thought that was accounted for, but I see from Awbury's magnificent specimen that mine are going to get way bigger and become a serious problem, despite assurances from the neighbor who ordered them and helped us plant. We'll see, but here we go: Another thing to worry about.

Meanwhile, spending a morning at Awbury was pure pleasure. This is a peaceful, beautiful place, one that comes alive when you're walking the grounds with smart plant people. My education continues ...

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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