Thursday, January 26, 2017

Spruce Bits Falling From Above

In my travels today, I stumbled upon a strange sight. From afar, it looked like a beautiful dense green ground cover, until I heard debris falling from above.

Had a closer look and these bits were all over the ground.

Perfect cuttings of terminal and side spruce tree shoots, littering the ground.

Notice anything missing?

There are no buds on any of these shoots. Why?

No, it's not the tree aborting last year's worth of shoots, it's our lovely squirrel population munching at the base of each segment, where the dwarf shoot meets the stem. Plump buds and immature cones are usually nestled at these joints. Making them a great food source for squirrels. As I took these photos, I could hear more falling down below. Must of been 3 squirrels feeding in this area.

Looking up, you'll notice it happens only to Norway Spruce - or at least that is in my experience. I think it's because they have larger cones (makes for larger buds) and their branching habit is more airy and open (easy access).

If you're wondering: if this damage will kill the tree. No, but it certainly sets it back and "prunes" the tree - somewhat stunting them. Removing next year's buds makes the tree respond later in developing dwarf shoots. Open wounds are now also susceptible to bacterial/virus threats too.


If this happens on your property, perhaps invest in some ultrasonic squirrel deterrent device, to help them not congregate on your Norway Spruce.

It is a shame.  Like a carpet of's so sad.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

DIY Botanical Art/Decoration - Ways of Bringing the Garden Indoors

I confess to having several house plants to help me get through the winter months.

Visits to greenhouses and conservatories help, but I just love bringing elements of the garden into my home. They help me cope with the short days of Jan-Feb.

Such as:

1) In the form of wall hangings:

You can press:

  • Dried leaves
  • Flower petals
  • Seeds

Make really simple selections or use your creative side to make patterns or designs.

2) Cuttings/stems

  • Dogwoods
  • Pussy Willows
  • Alder 
  • Bulrush
  • Grasses

3) Framed garden photos:

Whether they be of flowers from your own garden or ones like this free option on - they bring warmth and a cheery reminder of the growing season to come!

4) Dried Flowers, leaves, fruits and cones arrangements:

Late summer option

Winter option

So before the garden goes to rest in Late Summer - Autumn, collect items you love. Bring them indoors overwinter and allow them to remind you of the lush growing season you'll create this up-coming year!
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