Despite pleadings by my wife, who despises any plant with needles or spines, two Monkey Puzzles (Araucaria araucana, below) were planted earlier in the spring. Money puzzles have no thorns, but the stiff, scale-like leaves end in extremely sharp tips. It is a dangerous tree if not handled carefully.
Both trees are planted well off the paths, so there is no danger that a passerby will be injured unless they veer drunkenly off course. It could happen, I agree, but there are multiple ponds through the garden and there is a greater likelihood that our drunken visitor would drown. The garden can be a dangerous place, best navigated while sober.
My wife didn’t notice the monkey puzzles for weeks, but stuck at home, she finally started prowling outdoors once the weather turned, as she does looking to chop back offending branches that stray across the garden’s paths. Though I told her about it, I don’t think she’s seen the second one yet. It’s more out of harm’s way than the other, though it should be more prominent when it grows. The idea, of course, was not to annoy her, but to plant this unique tree.
But, to be a bit mischievous, several times I’ve dangled the prospect of planting a hardy orange (Poncirus trifoliata, above), with perhaps even more most prominent and lethal looking thorns than the Money puzzle. I really had no intention of planting one, but this makes the monkey puzzle seem to be no big deal. But as you would expect, and I should have known, this was not helpful.