Since the children's Square Foot Garden began in 2016 at the Stackhouse Education Center, I've lamented the lack of full day sun in certain parts of the garden. Over the years we've trimmed back a few branches on the giant black oak and adjusted our expectations and made due by growing leafy greens and root vegetables in the areas which get less than 6-8 hours of sunlight. And despite the less than ideal situation, we've been able to grow an abundance and a variety of crops in the garden.
The shady situation in the garden completely changed in one fell swoop when the large black oak located adjacent to the Education Center came crashing down during tropical storm Isaias, August 2020.
Granted, this is certainly not the way I would have wished the problem of a shaded garden be resolved, because we are an Arboretum after all.
It was sheer good fortune that the Education Center sustained minimal damage and the damage to the Square Foot Garden was nearly nonexistent.
With the unplanned demise of this large tree, it has opened up the sunnier side of things. It is Mahatma Ghandi who said "Adversity brings moments of progress". And although he probably didn't have this situation in mind, the loss of the majestic black oak has opened the skies above the garden and has opened up endless possibilities for the 2021 growing season.
Can you imagine the crops we can grow with an abundance of sunlight?
Now if only we can keep the mischievous little creatures out of the garden.