Stump’d ya!

Remember when Hurricane Ike hit Houston and the entire town looked like this?

When Ike hit, Mac and I were renting a house in Afton Village behind Ikea and it was one of the most miserable experiences ever. This is how it went down in our house – – Bored, hot, restless, scared, sweaty, beyond freaked out, irritated, exhausted, confused. By this I mean our electricity shuts off around 7pm way before the storm is even close to hitting Houston. BORED. The AC is out so it quickly gets steamy. HOT. What the heck is there to do with no TV, this battery operated radio sucks, I guess I will try and sleep, oh wait I can’t because I am too damn hot. RESTLESS. It’s now midnight and the storm is in full force. SCARED. Only getting hotter at this point. SWEATY. Can’t sleep, Rocky and Kirby are having total meltdowns, I am standing at the window watching two huge pine trees sway back and forth in the backyard. BEYOND FREAKED OUT. Mac keeps telling me he is not scared and that he’s asleep. IRRITATED. Sun starts to come up and I haven’t slept yet. EXHAUSTED. Go outside and cannot believe the damage, can’t call anyone because cell phones aren’t working, not sure what is going on around town because there is no power anywhere, um… what do we do now, I want my dad. CONFUSED.

That pretty much sums it up at our house. Oh wait, don’t let me forget that we didn’t have power for 17 days and had to stay with my in-laws. My in-laws are wonderful, but still.

Anyway, enough with walking down memory lane. Back to my point. The two huge pine trees that were swaying in the wind fell down that night. Luckily they took down all the fences around the backyard and not our house. Once the trees were finally chopped to pieces and removed, we started getting flyers in our mailbox for stump grinding services. I had never even heard of stump grinding until I realized that after the pine trees were taken away, we were still left with two huge stumps in the backyard.

Here is a really neat idea on what you can do with those large stumps if you have a tree fall on your property or need to remove one that is dead or diseased. I currently have a dead tree that desperately needs to be removed in our backyard. Of course, we are putting that off indefinitely because spending money on something like tree removal is about as fun as owing the IRS on your taxes. But when we finally bite the bullet and remove the tree, there will be no stump grinding in my backyard!

How to make a planter out of an old stump:

1. Wearing safety glasses, chip away at the center of the stump with the pointed end of a sharpened mattock.












2. As the hole gets bigger, switch to the mattock’s wider end. Work your way toward the edges of the stump, leaving at least a 3-inch border, to create a hole 4 to 8 inches deep.












3. With a 3/8 to 1/2 inch wide auger bit, drill drainage holes into the side of the stump so that they slope toward the ground. Add some free-draining material, like gravel, then top it with a mix of 30% compost and 70% potting soil.












4. Now fill the planter with some eye-catching blooms.

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