Thursday, October 10, 2019
The Viney Tree
Last fall, I found this pepper plant atop someone's discarded rubbish while walking the dog. I brought it home and put it in a pot, and we nursed it through the winter on the dining room windowsill. In spring we moved it out to the patio, and it has rewarded us with peppers. I'm not sure they're edible peppers -- maybe just ornamental -- and in any case I'm not a huge fan of hot peppers in general. But I love the way they look, and it's fun to taunt the squirrels with something they don't dare touch.
Remember my missing Amazon book, "The Story of Harold"? Well, I contacted the seller. Someone named Mary wrote back a peculiar note which said, "Apparently the process does not continue as normal. I want to help you immediately." She asked me to confirm my address and whether I wanted a refund or another copy of the book. I chose the book, which I may regret. Mary said she would ship one immediately.
Also, you may remember that I've been on a campaign to save a vine-covered tree on our street. Here's the poor cherry tree, sagging under the weight of a massive, strangling hops vine. (Of course just as I arrived to take pictures, a woman was trying to park beneath the tree -- I explained to her what I was doing so she wouldn't think I was behaving suspiciously! The vines were snagging on the car as she backed into the space -- she got out and checked for damage. So I guess they're more than just an aesthetic problem.)
Anyway, I wrote to the local council, which owns the tree, and I spoke to the woman who lives in the nearest house. She said it's not her vine, she wouldn't mind its removal, and she offered to write the council as well.
I heard back from one of the tree officers a few days ago, and he said he has "prompted the contractors to remove the ivy from the tree" later in the winter when it has died back a bit.
I still have half a mind to just go at it with my gardening shears, but the woman who lives nearby seemed hesitant about that idea. "What if something goes wrong?" she said. I'm not sure what she's envisioning -- the collapse of the tree? But it is true that removing that vine would be difficult with a car parked in that space, and I certainly wouldn't want to damage anyone's car. So it's probably best to wait for the council to handle it.
"Hopefully we will not have to remove the tree completely in order to remove the ivy," wrote the tree officer.
Didn't someone once say, during the Vietnam War, "We had to destroy the village in order to save it"?