Now that I look at it in the daylight, the tree, while not doing any structural damage to our house or porch, affected every planting area I have in the back yard. It crushed nearly all of my native wildflowers, flattened a bed of native grasses, and took out one tomato vine completely. A rather large flame acanthus and very healthy rose pavonia were both shredded and broken near their bases. I found pieces of the tree in my container herb garden. They broke a number of those plants. A small border structure I made out of pieces of a crepe myrtle is almost directly under the tree, flattened. Somewhere under the trunk, too, are the twisted remnants of a tomato cage.
The trunk of the tree, with a diameter of somewhere around a foot, is laying across the two paths I use to access the compost heap and an area that needs mowing. And with this rain – forecast to last another 10 days or so – it’ll be tough to get in and clean things up. Though what wasn’t broken will certainly grow like mad with all the rain.
Yet somehow, I’m still excited by all this. It really does give me a chance to start with an almost-clean slate. Once the heavy clean-up is done, I can reassess what plants should stay and what should go, and create more openness in the back yard. For some time now, the space back there has been too dense, too crowded. I’ve let too many plants come up from seed for the spaces they are in. In a year, the back yard will look completely different, I’m convinced.