Apr 02 2015

News From Kruse

Filed under Kruse House

Garden Word of the Month

What’s that fragrance rising from a garden after a rain? It is petrichor; the earthy aroma is partly from soil bacteria called actinomycetes. AHS March E-BULLETIN

Kramer Comes to Call at the Kruse House
(Kramer, as in, ‘Kramer Tree Specialists’.)

Trees, like all plants in the garden, need care. And, who better to do it, than the tree experts, Kramer Tree Specialists! There are three huge maples in the front yard of the Kruse Garden that had numerous dead and low hanging limbs which desperately needed attention. So this was the year to invest in taking care of the trees. This particular job is called ‘pruning & crown raising’ in the trade. We spent a chilly afternoon in the Kruse Garden watching the tree trimming  and the results are truly rewarding. The trees said ‘thank you’ from the bottom of their hearts…plants are sentient you know?!

The particular species of maple at the Kruse house is Norway maple, Acer plantanoides. This tree is native to eastern and Central Europe and southwest Asia. It was introduced into this country as early as the 18th century and became a popular replacement for diseased and dying Elm trees during the 1930s and 40s. Chosen for rapid growth and dense shade, Norway maples flooded the market. There are, however, drawbacks to this tree. The heavy seed crop and high germination rates lead to invasive tendencies and in many areas of the U.S. it is banned for sale. It is also prone to frequent wind damage, a constant problem for home owners and municipalities. Since the trees are so large they often cause significant damage to adjacent structures as the limbs break in storms and because of their shallow root system, it isn’t uncommon for the whole tree to blow over. The maple tree in the center of the Kruse garden is a perfect example of past storm damage. It has had lots of limbs cracked off in wind storms and consequently has an ungainly shape. Another of the maple trees in the yard appears to have been struck by lightning in the past (not uncommon given the height of these trees). You can see the streak down the trunk and the tree has large fungus growing in the crook of the tree.

Given the opportunity to contemplate the condition of these trees carefully we were reminded that gardens never stay the same. Not a problem…real gardeners step up and deal with it!

Looking forward to sharing lots of information about the Kruse Garden at the April Garden Club meeting.

Gardening with Spring in our step. -Billie, Angie, Tom & Kerry

Mar 23 2015

News from Kruse

Filed under Kruse House

I had some time on my hands the other day so I decided to stop by the Kruse House to see what Old Man Winter did to the grounds. With the exception of a few downed branches, things looked pretty good. Except for one thing. There was trash all over the place. I then decided to pick up as much of this trash as I could it took me about an hour and a half and I still didn’t get it all. I was somewhat amazed at what I found. Sure there was the usual paper, plastic bags, and candy wrappers, but there were also these things: One Lego man with a yellow hat. One story book, The Three Little Pigs. Two Spanish CD’s. A small red flashlight. Five beer cans, various brands. One empty whiskey bottle, Segram’s. One empty bottle of Rum. One empty bottle of Vodka. One black gym shoe, size 11 ½. One lock. One glove, hole in index finger. One plastic bag containing one rotten apple, some kind of sandwich, and two small Hershey bars.

Now this is quite a collection for only an hour and a half. I put the garbage bag into the trunk of my car, but placed the liquor containers on the floor of the front seat as I intended to recycle these.  As I was driving home I saw a neighbor lady walking home carrying a large bag of groceries. Now being the gentleman that I am, I asked her if she wanted a ride home. She said yes, as her bags were somewhat heavy. She walked over to the passenger’s side of my car and opened the door. I saw her look at the liquor containers on the floor, and then look at me. I didn’t even have a chance to explain. She slammed the door and stormed away.

Well, now that my reputation is ruined, I would just like to say, that no matter what you may hear about this incident, it is not the truth.

When I got home and was taking the liquor containers out of my car, to be recycled, the Mailman walked up my driveway and handed me my mail. He looked at the containers, smiled and shook his head, and walked away. I just can’t win. But on the bright side of things, the Kruse house looks much better.

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