Of course it had to happen sooner or later: One can’t expect to continue badmouthing the resident oak trees indefinitely without suffering some sort of retribution. In my case it was directed at a garden ornament that I’d rescued from a neglected corner of the gift shop at Winterthur Gardens about twenty years ago, as related in my Garden Ornamentation post.  The photo below shows her in my previous garden.

classical maiden


Here at the Temporary Garden I again sited her in one of the side borders, well away from any possible depredations of the lawncutting crew’s string trimmers and (so I thought) clear of any large overhanging trees. Nevertheless, I discovered this week that one of the Obnoxious Oaks apparantly had enough of my disparaging remarks and decided to throw – there’s no other word for it, considering that the tree is a good 10 feet away from the side border – a hefty branch directly at the innocent maiden, and…


..summarily decapitate her. Now I ask you: Is that any way for a “stately oak” to behave toward a lady??

My first thought upon seeing this amateurish arboreal attempt to create a version of the Venus de Milo was “superglue” but alas… the back part of her head shattered into too many slivers to allow reassembly, and there’s not enough of the bottom edge of the front to securely reattach to her neck. So apparantly the oak hath successfully had its’ revenge.

Luckily all of the remaining garden ornaments are made of either cement or cast iron, materials unlikely to succumb to any additional fits of Quercian limb-dropping pique. (There is a cast aluminum bench but, being a good 20 feet away, that same tree would need to be a gold-medalist in the javelin competition of the Oak Olympics to score a hit on that object!) Nevertheless, it is strange that the only ‘susceptible’ ornament in the entire garden was so unerringly targeted; perhaps I’d better refrain from uttering my usual anti-oak imprecations aloud in the garden from now on?