Monthly Archives: February 2009

Storm Damage

img_0166Central Kentucky seems to attract more than our fair share of ice. This years storm fortunately didn’t prove to reap as much havoc as we saw in 2003 but none the less caused a great deal of damage. Nearly three weeks later there are still piles of limbs along the side of the road waiting for pick up. I want to show some of the damage that we have seen and will follow up with images of proper pruning techniques.
The worst part of all of this is seeing some of the more mature trees that have come down due to the weight of the ice and snow. We won’t see replacement trees reach this size in our lifetime in many instances but it is important to replace these trees so that future generations can enjoy the shade and the scale that these plantings provide.img_0160
One of the biggest mistakes I saw during the storm was people going out and trying to knock the ice off of their plants. This can cause more damage than good. When limbs are frozen like this trying to knock the ice off can cause the limbs more damage and even break the limbs while they are brittle. You have to be patient and let the limbs come back up on their own as the ice and snow thaw. It is amazing to see how resilient damaged plant material can be.

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St. Kitts

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I have just returned from meetings in St. Kitts. It is always amazing to see a new culture and how their history has impacted their society and culture of design. The plant material was prolific. The soil is extremely fertile and was taken advantage of for hundreds of years for the production of sugar cane (Saccharum). The sugar cane production had left the island but their are so many amazing plants taking advantage of the fertile soil. We saw countless Bouganvillea, Alamander, Hibiscus, and so many beautiful flowers and trees that would never thrive in our climate. One of my favorite was the Peacock Palm whose branches truly unfold like a peacock strutting with his feathers spread.Peacock Palm
I was particularly impressed with the abundance of stone work on both St. Kitts and Nevis. Due to the presence of the sugar cane industry there were many plantations throughout the islands. This caused the need for windmills to grind the cane and boilers to cook the molasses after it had been extracted from the cane.
The islands are covered with the remnants of both of these. We also saw one of the most amazing examples of stone work I’ve ever seen present in the British fortification Brimstone Hill. This fort was constructed over a period of a hundred years using incredibly skilled slave laborers to protect British interests from the French. I saw some of the tightest head joints in stone work that I have ever seen.
These trips are always nice to get away in the winter to a warmer climate; but are also the source of some of the greatest inspiration I come across. Never stop looking for new ideas and new inspiration.Smoke Stackdsc_0142

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