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Zelkova Serrata or Japanese Zelkova, at Borough Hall
in Metuchen, New Jersey. (USDA Growing Zone 6)



A Tree Grower's Diary
Photographs and text by Julie Walton Shaver

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JULIE'S PHOTO BLOG: city of nouns

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Friday, January 19, 2007

An Undocumented Alien



The dwarf Alberta spruce by my back door is like the neglected step child of my little tree family: ignored in every season and never photographed or journalized, except for an occasional glorious moment like just now. (Because I can stand inside the back door and take a snow picture without getting my shoes wet. "Snow" is a four-letter word.)

Usually by now, we've had a decent size snow storm and backaches from shoveling, trips to the grocery store to stock up on bread and milk "just in case the trucks don't make it to town." Everyone seems stunned it took so long for snow to fall here this year. As for me, I'm thrilled! Sure, snow is nice for pictures but I'm a Southern girl at heart and would rather make it through the winter never wearing a coat.

See? I did it again. This post started out about that dwarf Alberta spruce and still I managed to ignore him.

NatureGirl, in Ontario, Canada, writes: I love these pines during winter time they provide shelter to the many bird visitors at my feeders and they appear as an art form in a garden sleeping under its blanket of snow.
Comment.
Photograph of the month.
9:35 am | link 

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Autumn in the Land of the Tree Grower's Diary: A Really Cool Movie!



Pat me on the back! It's January and I finally got my FALL LEAF pictures posted. You've GOT to see this slide show. I've been working on it little by little in my spare time since September. It's so much fun! And it's finally ready! Yay! CLICK HERE FOR THE MOVIE! ENJOY!

Shirley Bovshow, of the Discovery Channel's "Garden Police" show, writes: Bravo Julie!! What a treat to watch and enjoy with my morning tea! Beautiful photography.
Comment.
Photograph of the week.
12:02 am | link 

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Funny Thing About Trees in Winter



On a routine winter day, the brown and bare branches of winter fade into my existence. I barely notice trees, not being particularly fond of sticks decorating the sky. And then one day, it happens. My neighbor, Heidi, mentions the fact that I haven't added to my tree blog since Thanksgiving. (I am happy to know she checks up on me!) I get a couple of really nice e-mails from New Zealand and Germany and Woodbridge (also cool that strangers from around the world and a town next door are also looking in), and suddenly the trees start calling my name.

"Come out and look at us! We're not just sticks! We have color and shape and texture!"

And I slow down, eyes open wide in the low morning sunshine, my head spinning with awe. The beauty of nature has completely taken over my morning.

My friend, Bob, will call occasionally and instead of saying "How are you?" he says, "Best thing?" Oh what a great question. Always gets me thinking about the things I appreciate, and I find that it's often hard to choose the one BEST thing.

Bob, if you were to ask today, I would tell you my best thing is a bud on the linden tree that called my name.

Heidi in the house down the street, writes: I would have 'nagged' sooner but I know how busy you've been. Thanks for the new pic!
Comment.
Photograph of the week.
10:57 am | link 


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"The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today." -- African proverb

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While the Tree Grower's Diary has been in existence since 1996 (as a notebook) and since 1999 (at Coffeedrome), this new, independent site was launched on April 4, 2006. The blog posts here go from April 2006 through 2007. After that, all Tree Growers Diary blog posts appear in my main blog, the City of Nouns. Click here to go straight to the tree category.