In March 2021 we had a very large, two-stump River Birch removed from our property. Its extended branches threatened our roof and deck.
When it was removed, I asked the tree removal service to leave the stump cut a little higher, as I had envisioned hollowing out the stump to serve as a plant container. That decision also saved us a couple of hundred dollars! We also kept behind three large stump cuttings, about 18” to 24” inches high.
On Instagram I saw a post from pshgardening that sprung me into action!
Thinking the stump would be significantly dried out in 15 months, we set about carving out one side of the stump. The cut area had hardened considerably and for quite a while it had stopped weeping.
We did our research after that difficult start. Advice: start research and watch videos before starting a project, not after! Live and learn!
When we reached the desired depth of about six inches, we drilled drainage holes from the side as seen below. We tested with a hose and water flowed freely through the holes we made.
This project took two to three hours. I am hoping the fully separated stump cuttings will be dryer, and easier to drill out. I love the look and it’s a different way to feature pretty annuals or as a focal point for a trailing perennial. I would assume the tree stump would provide winter insulation. I love using containers and have several terracotta, ceramic or stone types scattered about in my garden. While I have plastic and resin containers, they are made to look like pottery or stone. I am trying to cut down on any plastic in my garden. If you have a tree removed, consider repurposing the wood or the stump as natural and textural container in your garden.
As a three-time graduate of the University of Delaware, a 23-year staff member, a parent of an alumna and a newly trained UD Master Gardener, one great way to show my school pride is to add the blue and gold to my garden.
True blue is a difficult color to obtain in the garden. Besides the reliable blue macrophylla hydrangea, I’ve been able to add blue cornflower, caryopteris (a shrub), delphinium and a few lobelias to the landscape.
Using plants and accents, I am slowly building my #BlueHensForever tribute!
While other colors show off in my garden, tendrils of blue and gold are woven through with plants, containers, garden furniture and garden art, which I continue to incorporate into the landscape bit by bit —a little addition or two each year. All that’s missing was a UD Blue Hen garden flag! Most were very sport-oriented so I designed my own and found a company that will make them. I have 87 hydrangeas so I thought this was appropriate!