One of our courtyard gardens has had a lovely Kousa Dogwood tree growing in it for decades, shown here last fall, with a backdrop of naturalized rudbeckia on the hillside behind it. It was planted in the 1960s by a former owner who visited our home last summer, and told me that she and her husband planted the tree to commemorate the birth of their daughter.
Unfortunately, the tree was struck by lightning last year, and it refused to leaf out this spring, and all the branches were dry and brittle. We had an arborist inspect it, and he confirmed the strike completely killed the tree, so we decided to have it cut down. But I decided to get creative, and told the tree surgeon to leave about 30 inches of the trunk in place, so that I might make a bird bath out of it. Sure enough, I knew just the nursery to visit this past weekend, which has lots of bird baths and fountains, and I found the perfect top for it, shown below. I'm glad I was able to leave at least part of the tree in place.