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What to Do With a Hollow Log

Old or sick trees eventually die; and with a wealth of trees on our property, Lou usually has several trees to remove every year. Much of the wood is cut and stacked neatly, to be used in the fireplace during cold winters. Large stumps, such as those in our Stump World, may be left in the woods to rot, providing shelter and food to myriads of creatures over the years. But this year we had several more interesting hollow logs, and I immediately recognized their potential as features in the garden. 

When a long, shaggy, moss-covered limb fell, I saw it as a woodland serpent with a wide open mouth, ready to swallow its prey. It had broken into two pieces when if hit the ground. The two pieces together were about twenty-five feet long - quite a snake! Lou was doubtful at first, but I convinced him the serpent log would make a great edging to the trail next to our fern glade. He and a helper loaded the pieces onto the back of a truck and hauled them to the entrance of the woodland garden, then carried them from there. I think it was worth their effort!

Here is a view of the two pieces of the serpent log in place; you can see part of the second piece in the center rear of the picture.:

Lou thinks it looks like an alligator, and maybe it does. But it really is too long to be anything but a serpent. I wish the two pieces were intact. I am going to encourage the vinca to grow over the ends so that it looks like the center of the snake is hidden in the growth.

Here is the back end of the serpent log. Lou had to cut the sharp jagged end off for the safety of people walking along the trail.

This trail is next to our fern glade, and I also used a couple of hollow logs to make some easy rustic planters for the same area. I simply put the logs in place, then filled their cavities with a good potting mix prior to planting.These hollow logs came from a chestnut oak:

Here is another log I think has a lot of character. I laid it on its side and used it as part of the edging beside the fern glade:

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Reader Comments (6)

I love the whimsy of your new additions! Thank you for encouraging me to look around at what we might have! xo

What a fabulous serpent. I see it. That end will soon age and not be so noticeable and your plants will cover some of it too. The stump planters are sweet. I have a hollow log I have been contemplating. Nothing as big as yours. A shorty but wide open all the way through. Don't you just love those gifts from the forest!?!

May 26, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLisa at Greenbow

I love your serpent log! And to think it arrived with that wonderful moss already in place. I inherited a couple of old tree stumps, left in place on alternate ends of the garden probably because their roots helped stabilize slopes in both areas. I filled the decayed center of one with soil and planted it with prickly aloes, yet the raccoons still consider the spot their own personal lavatory, regularly leaving unsavory "presents." One day, I'm going to hollow the space out further and plant something too big for them to squat in or next to!

May 26, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

I love the logs turned into planters, especially the one with ferns.

May 28, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJason

I like the idea of turning a hollow log into a planter and, yes, the 25 foot long log looks like a serpent!

The hollow logs make fantastic rustic planters, I reckon the serpent does indeed look like a very long crocodile.

June 5, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAlistair

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