Thursday, April 22, 2010

Of trees and children. . . .

I used to tell my husband that gardening was cheaper than therapy, but he doesn't believe that any more.

Seriously, though, gardening has been a stabilizing factor in my life, and I didn't realize how much I relied on it until last spring, when the move disrupted my usual routine of winter sowing, garden clean-up and prep-work, and ordering new plants. It was like being adrift; it was not comfortable.

This spring feels SO much better. I've done my winter sowing (I've got almost 100 containers on my back deck, with about 75% of them showing green sprouts so far). I'm learning the rhythm and character of my new yard, where it's exposed and needs hardier plants, where it's shady and I can grow my favorite woodland beauties, where the shadows fall in summer and winter, where it's soggy and acid and I can plant my long-awaited blueberry patch.

The trees we planted last fall (a river birch, a locust, and a tulip tree/liriodendron) are starting to unfurl their tiny, fresh, bright green leaves. I love new leaves - so much hope in such a tiny package! Hard to believe the lush greenery of summer unfolds from such small beginnings. I need just one more tree (notice it's NEED, not WANT - the yard is missing something, and I know exactly what it is in this case) - a white dogwood. I have the perfect spot, all marked out in a new bed at the rear north-east corner of the house, the hole already dug, just a few yards from the bird feeder. Soon, I'll be going to Aspinall's Tree Nursery to get the tree. It's funny how planting trees can be like growing families - sometimes you know your family isn't complete until that last, particular child arrives. Then you know, you're done. Everything is JUST RIGHT. So I'm waiting for my last tree.