Urban Garden Winterizing Update Part Three


It has been reported that Mark Twain once said. "if you don't like the weather . . . wait five minutes!"*

And this certainly has been the case in NYC. Yesterday the temperatures reached into the seventies and tonight it is predicted that they will drop into the thirties.

The day before my last entry here on HT (which I made on 12-18-13), we had a significant snowfall as evidenced by the first picture with today's entry (and in a number of photo-ops that were included in the aforementioned entry which can be found @ http://www.hometalk.com/2725286/urban-garden-winterizing-update-part-one).

However, the day after I made that particular entry, most of the snow had melted as indicated by the second photo-op featured with this post, where in the lower right hand corner you can see that much of the snow had melted off of my table-top tree (as compared to how it looks in image one).

Be that as it may, the purpose of today's post is not to discuss weather; rather, it is to fulfill a promise I made in my 12-18-13 HT post where I stated I'd feature my Corylus avellana's (AKA 'Contorta' or contorted hazelnut) decor and related winterizing issues.

The Corylus avellana can be seen in the upper lefthand corner of image two. The shrub is easy to recognize because of its branches that twist and turn. It was featured in my first garden themed movie, "The Kiwi Speaks! Fifteen MInutes of Fame . . . almost," where one of kiwi vines served as a narrator, informing viewers that the contorted hazelnut is also known by the name Harry's Walking Stick.**

I have had my contorted hazelnut since 2004 or 2005 and bought it from a nursery in Bayside Queens which I traveled to from my home in Manhattan via the Long Island Railroad.

For readers who know Manhattan, you might appreciate the fact that in order to get a contorted hazelnut, I took the LIRR to Bayside (in Queens), walked a long distance to the nursery, got a ride from someone working in the nursery to a LIRR train stop that had an elevator, took the LIRR back to Penn station (with my beloved contorted hazelnut in very sturdy shopping bags) to get on what I thought was the 'C" train, which ended up to be an "E," switched from the "E" to a "B," and, finally, after "enduring" glares and stares for being in an non-air-conditioned subway car — during a heat wave — while carrying a shrub whose branches twisted and turned; I was a few blocks from where I live. And once I was finally at my building I had to carry it up seventy stairs as my place is on the top floor.

The shrub was (and is still) "a looker" and well worth the journey to procure her. For in addition to her twisting and turning branches that have also "served" as a Christmas tree (as evident in image three from 2011 which is an image that is similar to one I included in a prior HT posting), as well as "serving" as a resting spot for most of my visiting birds (as evidenced by one of them in picture four); she produces exquisite flowers which can be seen in pictures five through seven.

Therefore, in addition to being worthy of the journey, she (as well as all the flora that I grow) is an inspiration for me to be diligent when winterizing my urban garden.

(My methods for winterizing my urban garden have been discussed in parts one and two of this series).***

Each year since my having a contorted hazelnut, I have moved it from whereever it has been in my garden and placed it closer to the wall of the building where I live. This winter will mark a new experience for my Corylus avellana, for Juan V and I decided to let her remain in her locale for the season (as she seems to be established enough to weather the winter) although we do our winter-wrap method to her home ("digs" or container) as she has only lived in this since 2012, having outgrown all others.****

You may have noticed (when I first pointed out where the contorted hazelnut can be found in picture two) that she is "standing" off the ground. This is because the contorted hazelnut — in her home — is placed in a "stand" that used to be a tabletop! A picture showing a close-up of this fact can be found in place-holder eight.

And pictures of the contorted hazelnut's container — unwrapped — during gardening season can found in placeholders nine through eleven. In picture nine the container is indicated with a square superimposed over the image.

(Almost all of my visiting birds have alighted upon the rim of my contorted hazelnut's digs and an example of this can be seen in picture eleven.)

But, as I've stated, the stand supporting my contorted hazelnut was not always a stand; prior to this function, it had another life: as a table!

AND my table turned plant stand for my contorted hazelnut MIGHT be a DIY project or it might be a re-purposing/recycling endeavor that interests HT readers in the event they find themselves having a rotted wooden outdoor table in their garden or outdoor living space.

The following is the backstory to how my outdoor table became a stand that supports my contorted hazelnut:

Many years ago I was given an outdoor table (from a flea market). The legs and rim of the table were made of rod-iron and the table-top was made of wood. I initially used it as a salad bar when I grew salad greens in small containers as seen in image twelve.

In subsequent years when I needed to grow my salad greens in larger containers, the table top served as a plant stand, and did its job well for quite some time as you might surmise from the photos in placeholders thirteen through sixteen, which were all taken during my early years as an urban gardener.

[Images twelve through fifteen show the table-top as plant stand featured at the south end of my garden (top of photo) and image sixteen shows it featured in the east side of my garden (left portion of photo).]

Ultimately from the weight of the plants and their being watered, as well as enduring rain and snowfall, the wood rotted and I pulled it out in December of 2010, with the intention of having my local hardware store cut me a piece of wood to replace it the following gardening season.

However, in the interim, I used the stand to support a wreath as part of my 2010 Christmas decor for that year. This can be seen in image seventeen.

The gardening season following my use of what was left of my table to "serve" as a plant stand did not send me to my local hardware for replacement wood; rather, Juan V picked up on my idea of using it as a wreath stand and placed my Fagus sylvatica (Beech Tree) — in its container — within the rim as seen in picture seventeen.

My Fagus sylvatica enjoyed the new "position" as you might surmise from pictures nineteen through twenty-one. In fact, this beech tree enjoyed his environment so much that he ultimately had to be transplanted into a larger home (container). *****

The new home of the beech tree would not fit into the rim of the former table-top, turned plant stand and that is when the contorted hazelnut was moved there in its "original digs"(image twenty-two through twenty-three).

Then my contorted hazelnut was transplanted into her new "digs" (the "digs" where she has remained to this very day) that have "stood" within the former table-top structure at the northwest corner of my garden (image twenty-four).

The aforementioned status of my contorted hazelnut's locale within my garden is with the exception of last winter, when a Christmas tree stood in her place (image twenty-five), while she huddled (adorned with Christmas balls) with my other winterized flora close to my building (image twenty-six).

AND, as I said in the beginning of this entry, this year my contorted hazelnut is strong enough to not be moved for the winter.

Instead, this year, she will stand alongside my Christmas tree and face her flora friends who are huddled near the building where I live (image twenty-seven) as she used to do in bygone winters and, as my contorted hazelnut does this, she joins me in wishing you a Merry Christmas.

* Reference re weather quote @ http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/83666/what-is-the-context-of-mark-twains-if-you-dont-like-the-weather-quote

** "The Kiwi Speaks! Fifteen Minutes of Fame . . . almost," may be viewed in my Vimeo Library @ https://vimeo.com/37027072

*** HT winterizing posts may be viewed @ http://www.hometalk.com/2716445/urban-garden-winterizing-update AS WELL AS @ http://www.hometalk.com/2725286/urban-garden-winterizing-update-part-one

**** Contorted Hazelnut and her "digs" info can be found @ http://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2013/01/another-year-over-and-new-one-just_14.html

***** Beech Tree and his new digs info can be found @ http://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2013/04/is-spring-of-2013-finally-finally_28.html
BTW, much of this content (re the use of my table) was first published in a post on on TLLG's Blogger Pages titled "Turning the Tables in Garden Decor" @ http://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2010/11/turning-tables-in-garden-decor.html

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3 of 5 comments
  • Douglas Hunt
    on Dec 25, 2013

    I am only sad there is no picture of you carrying that contorted filbert on the LIRR!

    • TheLastLeafGardener
      on Dec 25, 2013

      @Douglas Hunt Tee hee. I should just be grateful they didn't charge the shrub a fare (then again she's under twelve).

  • LCGPetrey
    on Jun 22, 2015

    I thought the term was 'wrought iron'

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