Along with our three large trees, our tree removal guys took out the two smaller trees in that area. We were planning on eventually taking them out ourselves because they aren't so big that we couldn't have managed it. But the company said they would do it for free since they needed the room to work and believed the smaller trees would inevitably end up smashed anyway (unless they tried really hard not to smash anything...but they're working in a relatively small space and the trees are ginormous and...).
So Andrew gave them permission to take out the smaller trees.
Alexander was horrified when he saw them cut into my magnolia tree. This wasn't part of the plan!
I was sitting in my chair, looking out the window at the men at work (and talking to Bridget and Crystal) and, honestly, feeling a little sad about my magnolia tree (because—you guys!—it hadn't even blossomed yet! It was far too young to die!) when Alexander burst into my bedroom, crying, "They cut down your favourite tree!"
It was the sweetest thing; he was so sad for me (and for the tree, which was his "hideout") and wanted to break the news and comfort me.
I knew we would eventually have to remove that tree to build a retaining wall for the terrace (and to put the appropriate drainage in with the wall), so it was a loss I knew we'd have to suffer. It just wasn't a loss we thought we'd have to suffer today. And I don't think it was a loss Alexander was counting on at all.
So a magnolia is on the list for a replacement tree.
Other ideas that have been floated are redbuds and cherry trees (of the twice-blossoming variety). We'd really like some colour out there, something that will provide some shade in the summer but which won't grow quite so tall that it completely towers over our house...
We want to leave one of the terraces for a garden plot. Probably the top terrace since that will get the most sun. We want to plant some herbs like rosemary and a bay laurel and hearty things like that. We want lots of flowers for our pollinators. Perhaps some milkweed for the monarchs.
Our wishlist is growing by the minute and we have no idea how to design a garden, but we'll figure it out.