Right next door to my downtown planter box, ( https://tonytomeo.wordpress.com/2017/11/04/my-tiny-downtown-garden/ ) just to the east on Nicholson Avenue, there is a tree well for a small London plane street tree that has not grown much in the past few years since it was installed. The poor tree is in a difficult situation. It probably does not mind getting bumped with car doors every once in a while, but bicycles getting chained to it have been abrasive to the bark of the main trunk. The location next to a Mike’s Bikes does not help. The staff at Mike’s Bikes has had limited success with promoting the use of a nearby bicycle rack instead, by displaying their own bicycles next to the tree.
The tree well collects a bit of trash that gets blown about by the wind. Weeds are sometimes able to grow up through the mulch of detritus. No one wants to pull the weeds or collect the trash because dogs do what dogs do on street trees. The crew that comes by to water young street trees through spring and summer occasionally stops to pull weeds and remove trash. As the tree eventually grows, they will cut more rings out of the grate to accommodate the expanding trunk. For now, the grate is only a few inches away from the trunk and the stake.
My planter box next door generates quite a bit of biomass. Some of it gets shared with neighboring planter boxes. The big houseleeks have really gotten around town. Two large specimens were installed into a pair of urns that flanked the front door of Mike’s Bikes, although only one remains. The nasturtiums that get so impressive through winter and into spring are even more prolific and generous with their seed. Cuttings of other minor succulents have been shared as well.
The tree well was a bit too vacant. We all know that the Public Works Crews take care of it, and no one want to tamper with that. Well, maybe. You know, houseleek and nasturtium can be so prolific. Nasturtium will drop their seed anywhere, and some unavoidably found their way into the tree well, where they grow right around the trunk. They do not go much farther without getting trampled back into bounds. A big cutting of houseleek seemed like it would be a good companion to the nasturtium, and adds a bit more substance. It grew like a weed last year before getting roasted and broken over summer. It is making a comeback now, with nasturtium seedlings appearing around the base. The Public Works Crews do not seem to mind them. Both the houseleek and the nasturtiums inhibit weed growth, and neither mind what dogs do to them. Well, well, well, the tree well gets a happy ending.