Saturday, April 13, 2013

Surprise, surprise!

This past weekend was the first I made it outdoors to work on my gardens. I'll give you a moment to be awestruck by use of the plurality of the word, but you should know, I have a postage-stamp sized yard, and "gardens" means the front bed, the side bed, the back rose garden, and a few other spaces. We're not talking Central Park here.

Anyway. I've lived in this house for fifteen years. My gardens, such as they are, are known to me by square inch and the weeds they attract. I'm seldom surprised at what my yard can produce at this point.

Until this past weekend.

I was walking between the back and the "really" back yard on my way to the compost pile. (I love my compost pile, but am saving that introduction for a later date.) When, what to my wandering eyes should appear, but....no, it's not the season for a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer....a little furry bud.
I looked. I stared in disbelief.  Then I started jumping.

Jumping not for joy. Jumping not to catch a squirrel, as my neighbor thought (embarrassment!). But jumping to catch a branch just a bit higher to see if my hypothesis was true.


It was. The tree I had known to love (not) and to appreciate (not) as part of a "border" was a pussy willow! A thirty plus foot pussy willow! In fifteen years, I've not seen this tree produce anything similar to a bud, let alone the architectural branches we proudly display in our homes. Looking up over the top of my garage, I saw a fuzzy treeline of what must be the buds of these pretty spring displays!

So I brought out my clippers and snipped what I could. Then I brought out my ladder and cut as many branches as I could reach. Of course, the good stuff was only attainable by climbing on top of my garage (not!), and my boys weren't with me, but I was able to gather enough branches to make a modest display for my foyer.

About a month ago, I had a conversation with my father about our yards. The pussy willow he had given up on last fall and had been felled to the ground had suddenly begun producing flowers not seen in years. Maybe the shrub I inherited so many years ago was just severely neglected, yet somehow in the right place to produce this year. I think the lesson here is that nature is a unpredictable. I'm not trying to analyze the jet steam, greenhouse gasses, or even compost pile versus Miracle Grow, but there is still a lot in our own hands, in or on our own footprint, that we have yet to learn from.

Go get your hands dirty!


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