Friday, March 15, 2013

Do You Believe in Life After Lo...pping?


Do You Believe in Life after Lo..pping?

During February’s dreary dormancy, my nineteen-year-old daughter called from Indiana University.

“Mom, I’m helping a friend with a fundraiser. Do you think I could cut some branches for 30 vases to decorate the table tops?”  (And by “I,” she actually meant  “you.”)

“It’s a black-tie event in the Student Union.”  (And by telling me it was a black-tie event, she meant, prune from the living shrubs, not grab the ugly stick pile that was lying next to the compost pile.)

“We’re making paper flowers to attach to the cuttings.”

It just so happened that my husband and I had discussed trimming back the burning bush earlier that week, so the timing worked out well.

As I pruned 30 branches from a row of eight burning bushes, I began thinking about the  creative organic opportunities between lopping off a branch and the trip to the compost pile. With a slight edit to Cher’s song: “Do You Believe in Life after Lopping" — how do you upcycle your organic material before they hit the compost pile or shredder? 

Burning Bush Money Tree Gift
Euonymus alata "Compactus" commonly known as Burning Bush have corky ridges on flat, horizontal branches, which are perfect for a table top design. I cut these quirky branches for my daughter’s black-tie fundraiser, and the girls in her house made and attached colorful paper flowers to them. In the photo below, I chose to make a simple burning bush money tree, which can be used as a table décor in a vase with river rock for graduation, retirement or birthday gifts. The dollars were accordian-folded and attached with hemp string.