I’ve just come in from a sunny afternoon outside where I snipped bits and pieces from a dying Hemlock tree to use in my Charlie Brown Christmas Village. Yes, sometimes using the bounty from the garden doesn’t mean cooking and eating; it means decorating.
When we moved into this house, there was a Blue Spruce next to the Hemlock that was clearly the older sibling. For a year or two, I cut full branches from the Blue Spruce to use in holiday Christmas decorations. Then an ice storm killed the pretty tree and when Jim cut it down, we used the fertile soil it left us as a new spot to grow vegetables.
Our dear Hemlock kept hanging around but caught a disease a couple of years ago. I must admit that I was so busy elsewhere in the garden that I didn’t research what to do to save the tree. I should have at least done my part. Instead, the death crept upward so that now the fullest, pretties branches are at the top one-third of the tree that climbs above the house gutter. Jim said he was going to cut it down and I imagined another fertile space for gardening, but the tree still stands.
The straw bales that I gardened in this year also remain. I decided to leave them in the raised bed next to the street because I’ll plant in them again next year. So, to help them join the magic of the season, I bought tall, plastic candy canes to put in some of them. No, plastic usually isn’t my style, but when I thought of the color they could add to the brown of the bales, I decided to do it anyway. They looked good, but they need company.
And there the Hemlock stood, tall and proud of the branches that still offered seasonal greens. So when the sun, after a 10-day hibernation, came out this afternoon, I got a ladder out of the garage, found a good place to set it up next to the dead branches, and climbed until I could reach the green branches. I snipped, I cut. Greenery dropped onto my head and onto the ground below me. I took the first load over to the straw bales and stared planting them into the soil at the foot of the bales and into some of the bales themselves. Thus, the Charlie Brown Christmas Village grew.
At this point, you’re probably expecting a picture. You’ll have to wait a week for that because I’m still trying to decide what needs to go into the village next.