Tree Fail

When we moved in to our house we had our back yard landscaped.  Kish hates direct sunlight, so a key element of the design was a new tree planted at one corner of the patio.  It was supposed to grow tall, leaf out, and provide lots of the glorious shade that Kish likes so well.

For the first year and a half, things went according to plan.  The tree grew like crazy and looked to be doing fine.  Then late last summer, the tree started to visibly struggle.  Beginning at the top of the tree, the leaves wilted and died.  We hoped that the tree would recover this spring, but the top half remained dead and the only new leaves appeared at the base of the tree trunk.  As a last-ditch salvage effort, the landscapers cut off the dead top part of the tree — leaving us with the pathetic looking elongated stump shown above — in hopes it would spur new growth at the bottom of the tree.  Unfortunately, that effort also failed.  Our little tree has given up the ghost.

I like trees.  I hate to see them struggle and I hate to see them die.  This tree death is particularly weird because there’s no apparent cause.  It wasn’t struck by lightning, and every other plant and shrub in our back yard is thriving.  I guess sometimes death just happens.

I’ll miss our little tree.

Umbrella Upgrade

When you know you’ve got important house guests in your future, it can motivate you to finally do some stuff around the house that you’ve been meaning to do for a while.  In our case, that meant paying some attention to the backyard.  We picked up some brightly colored cushions for the patio furniture and replaced our faded and cracked Cinzano umbrella — which had served us nobly for two and a half years — with a bright red Campari umbrella.  The combination of the cushions and the umbrella bring a lot more color to the back yard.

To my knowledge I’ve never sampled either Cinzano or Campari, but I do like their umbrellas.