My tomatoes have responded to the warm weather by putting on their summer growth. I’ve run out of cages — I have about 40 plants this year and have cages for perhaps half of them — so I spent time this morning cutting stakes. Ocean spray branches (Holodiscus discolor) make good straight poles; the Native peoples of this coast used this wood for barbeque sticks for salmon, knitting needles, halibut hooks…. But then I remembered that John had pruned the lower branches of our big arbutus, the one that has a mild case of the fungal disease that has affected many trees in our area, so I went to the burning pile to see if I could salvage some of those beautiful twisty branches.
The wood — these thin sections! — was almost too hard to cut with secateurs. And there are more sturdy pieces of branch. I recently discovered the website of Andrea Cordonier who used a branch to lovely effect in her bedroom — http://www.habicurious.com/?p=3979 — and now I think I might just put some of the arbutus aside to use in the greenhouse we are planning to build this summer. I can see it inside the door, holding a basket of basil, or supporting a young vine.