Wednesday, October 31, 2012


It's All Hallow's Eve today, The Day of The Dead tomorrow. What better time to write an obituary.


Gutter Tree came from our uncleared roof gutter. Perhaps the wind blew a seed there. Perhaps some bird stopped for a poop. 

It was a baby when we found it, a tiny green thing living off decaying leaves. Loathe to bin it, we planted Gutter Tree in our 30cm wide brick planter. "It's a grevillea," I told Cushion confidently. "It'll be a nice medium height bush, perfect for the spot." I had visions of it flowering profusely one day, dripping with nectar.

The months passed. Gutter Tree grew on nothing more than sunlight and the occasional bucket of water. Soon, it was a lovely fat shrub. 

A year passed, then 2. Gutter Tree was almost as high as the fence. "Why doesn't it flower?" I wondered quietly to myself and aloud to Cushion. 

Another couple of years went by. 

Gutter Tree was now higher than the roof. "What a very big shrub Gutter Tree is! " we thought, congratulating ourselves on our green fingers, still wondering when it would start flowering.

Then one day, the neighbour said... 


..."That's a nice silky oak you have there."

Examples of the shrubby grevillea I thought we were growing.
This pic from HERE.
This pic from HERE.

What Gutter Tree would have become.
 These pics from HERE.
Gutter Tree was a silky oak, the very largest species in the genus of Grevillea, capable of growing up to 40m tall. 

A small mistake, if you ask me.


So we started to regularly prune Gutter Tree back. Harshly keeping it to below roof height. Just high enough to provide welcome summer shade for the barbie, and a screen from the neighbour's Hills Hoist. 

When the courtyard pavers start lifting, we stubbornly closed our eyes, sighed and said, "Gutter Tree, you'll have to go soon." 

When the storm water pipes beneath the tree cracked and cost 3000 dollars to fix, we blamed each other for not taking down Gutter Tree, sighed and said, "Gutter Tree, you'll have to go soon."

And so another 2 years passed.


Then on Monday, Cushion noticed the bricks in the planter had shifted. The wall was in imminent danger of collapsing. Bummer. He wasted no time.
I didn't even get a chance to take some pictures of Gutter Tree in its full glory in Spring sunshine. To say thank you, sorry and goodbye. 

Now lying in pieces in the front yard, waiting to be collected on Green Waste Monday, my poor Little Big Gutter Tree. Cut down in the prime of its life. 


It's very hot in the kitchen now, and the sunlight shooting off the sink is blinding me.
Hello, neighbour's Hills Hoist.
More sun for the washing at least.
It wasn't your fault, baby.  I'll miss you. Don't you worry. I'm going to make Cushion feel really bad.  


Rose ~ from Oz said...

Gosh Typist, that post had me all goosy-bumpy BECAUSE, all the silky oaks (there's hundreds of them around here) are out in full bloom. They line the roadsides and are grown in quite thick groves making a spectacular sight as you drive along the highway and the backroads. I could kick myself for not getting some pics the other day when we were on the highway. We have just been talking about the silky oaks this year and their showy display, and how they grow up in the tropics where I come from and, in temperate zones. How they were commonly used for furniture making as well.
Poor Gutter Tree .......

Anonymous said...

This is no good. I am trying to remember the tree. I normally don't forget trees.

Declan said...

Poor Gutter Tree. You should have got Georgia to pee up it more; that would have killed it for sure. Deccy x

georgia little pea said...

Ahhh Rose, I suppose you won't have any difficulty distinguishing it from the shrub form. And you probably have a yard big enough for a few!

Anonymous - it's a Grevillea robusta common name silky oak.

Message for Deccy from Georgia - I AM A GIRL!

What Remains Now said...

All I can think is thank goodness you didn't leave it to grow in the gutter!

Patrice and Higgins said...

RIP Gutter Tree, RIP...

Happy Howl-a-Weenie!!


bermtopia said...

I believe there is an object lesson in this for us here in Bermtopia. We have a lovely maple that's sprouted up in the hedge in the Back Forty much the same way your silky maple did. It's now tangling with the phone lines and we're scratching our heads and going "Hmmmmm. How'd that happen?"

The Queen and Supreme Goddess

georgia little pea said...

Lori - that is a darn good point!

Indeed Higs, indeed :(

OH NO! Supreme Goddess, I see heartbreak on your horizon.

Kirsten (peacefuldog) said...

Silky oaks sound really pretty. I am sure s/he appreciates that you gave him/her a proper obituary, and understands the bind you were in. Maybe you can make her/him into wood chips and mulch to grow one of those grevillea you wanted.

Peggy Frezon said...

Goodbye Gutter Tree! Aw, how innocent they look when they're little. We did the same thing. We were given a small maple sapling. Planted the wee thing in our wee back yard. Now we have a huge maple tree, waaay taller than the house. Roots all over. Grass won't grow. But it's a really pretty tree.

Jean said...

Having recovered from the heart attack I suffered when I read the title of the post, I can now offer my condolences on the loss of Gutter Tree. How sad. A little pup tree that grew too big and was euthanized for doing what nature intended. Sigh. Where are the tree rescues and shelters when you really need them?

Seriously, I worried about how big the dogwood I planted near the house this summer will get. But, alas, it died after a few weeks in my care. Or at least I think it did. The twig is still in the ground so we'll find out next spring.

3 doxies said...

Oh dat is just terribles it hads to go to da bridge or wherever trees me. At least it had a happy place fur awhile.
My dad wants to cut down our pecan trees...but I eats da pecans. Mum wants to cut down da pecan trees cuz I eats them and then barf.


Kristine said...

Poor little Gutter Tree... It was a surviver. I've not heard of a silky oak before but it sounds like this one was very special. May it rest in peace.

georgia little pea said...

Kirsten, what a great idea! I am in fact using some of the logs in the front yard. I put them on a bare area where the neighbourhood cats like to poop. Hopefully, if they can't bury their poop in the soil, they'll move on.

Oh no Peggy! That sounds quite dangerous. I hope for the best for you and Maple.

Jean! I'm mortified to have been responsible for one death and one heart attack all in the same week. Do you think after reading this cautionary tale that you might move dogwood to the furthest reaches while it is still (possibly) asleep? :D

Oi Puddles, aren't dogs not supposed to eat nuts???!!

Thank you Ms Tonks. It was a good boy/girl.

Jan said...

We've had a few of those ungrateful plants around. I know they meant well, but just didn't know their power.

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Sorry you had to go Gutter Tree. We have a tree growing near our house too and mum hasn't a clue what it is. Maybe it's related to Gutter Tree. Thanks for the story. bye bye gutter tree. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

houndstooth said...

Aww! I feel the same way about cutting something down. It always irks me when businesses plant trees that will grow too big and then cut them down. We just had a dead tree cut down in the front yard and I felt bad, even though it's been dead almost a year! I guess I'm a bit sentimental.

georgia little pea said...

Jan - exactly right. Ungrateful, expensive gutter tree! *sniff*

But Stella and Rory, your mum is such a great gardener! I hope it's not a silky oak.

Bunny's mama, "a bit"?

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Thanks Typist, I'll miss you too - but I'll be watching your blog!
Yes! the fitas are crumbling before our eyes and Jana will be the first to have her wishes!
Hugs back
xx (muzzle snuggle for Ms Pea too)
You shoulda seen Martin Clunes with the wolves last night on tele, 'twas amazing!!

chandra said...

Now it's your turn to make me sad!

I'm so sorry that the gutter tree had to be cut down. I don't think you had any choice but I do think some sort of farewell should have been had. (That part is for Cushion) But regardless, you gave the gutter tree an excellent life. Look where he was when he met you ... he was in the gutter!

I had to look up Hills Hoist.
-c at ddy.

chandra said...

p.s. Rose's comment on the fitas reminded me: Please help us sort of the what the different colors mean!

My pack refuses to pick out their fitas until they know the meanings. We are paralyzed with indecision over here! I've found sites that give a handful of colors/meanings but I haven't been able to find some of them. For example, brown. Do you know of a site that lists them all?

Who says Californians are laid-back?!
-c at ddy.

yuki and rocket said...

It really bothers me when trees are cut down when they don't have to be, but you obviously had a reason! The exception I would make for tree cutting are the ones in my town, oleander. I don't understand why they plant these highly toxic to humans and animals trees all over our city. They are all over our neighborhood and the leaves blow in our yard. I can't leave Yuki and Rocket alone in the yard since they eat everything and one leaf can kill a large dog.
Maybe you could use all that wood for firewood or something?

georgia little pea said...

Dear Chandra, I've been trying to find a link to share. This is the best I can do -

I don't know how accurate it is. I know the colours represent different orixas and what, by extension, the orixas represent. The colour guide in the link may just be something more acceptable to people and outside tradition. Looking at the list, they seem to reflect chakra emotions, so take it as you wish, or not :)

Perhaps you could google the orixas and choose one that most represents you/your wish? Or do what I do which is to choose something that colour coordinates with Georgia's collars! Brown is my personal favourite, mainly because it goes with my wardrobe LOL.

Yuki and Rocket - we're with you on cutting down trees. It was a sad day. Re:oleander. They plant that in public gardens here too, also canna lilies, angel trumpets and some palms that should be classified weeds. Very silly.

Tootsie said...

Oh dear. R.I.P. Gutter Tree. This is really sad. Ms. Georgia, your Typist helped it have a Very Good Life. I know you did, too.


sagechronicles said...

I was imagining this tree actually growing in your gutter, much like what grew in my neighbor's, and was aghast! Silly me. I can well imagine the parting of this tree was such sweet sorrow. :)

Pup Fan said...

Aw... farewell to Gutter Tree!

Sam said...

I get so sad when trees go. Can you plant a vine there?


jet said...

Poor gutter tree!!!!! well I guess you will have to get a small shrub to replace it ;) who wants to see the neighbour's knickers hanging out to dry!

Oskar said...

Poor Gutter Tree!

Nubbin wiggles,

Anonymous said...

Sad :( at least the tree had a nice life with you.

Anonymous said...

Yes I have been cheating on you..

Dont worry about boggers moving, it s natural, everything changes, including blogs.

I still love to read about you cutting down a tree.
Oh and btw - grevillia, as a bush flower essence is used to help people leave stuck situations...

georgia little pea said...

Grrl - I cut down an essence I sorely need at the moment? Bummer!

Berts Blog said...

Many of our great trees died this year from lack of underground water. WE miss the shade and the sound of the wind blowing through the leaves. Maybe we need some gutter tree seeds.

RIP gutter tree.

Bert and My Vickie

melf said...

I laughed when I read your neighbor's comment about the oak. LOL!

But then I read how Gutter Tree died and I felt sad. I love trees. I love their shade too. So sorry little Gutter Tree. May Cushion cry at least a tear for you. :(

chandra said...

That's a good list, Typist thank you. Wishes were in the air, apparently, because right when I started reading about the fitas, the Presidential Election result I was hoping for was announced!

-c at ddy.

georgia little pea said...

YAY YAY! Congratulations Ms C! Cushion and I are thrilled too :D It was a sign from the cosmos X

LetterstoAndrew said...

Imagine the things you could grow in your gutter....LOL.

We grew a flower in ours once, it looked so funny. This lone flower in the gutter greeting us each time we pulled into the driveway.