September is a marvelous time in Ohio, usually. But be warned when I say that- I am one of those people who like the occasional gray and softly raining day! Such is the weather today… So I missed the lovely cool and sunny gardening weather over the weekend. I went out of town with my husband and children and we helped to move my mother…Then we had a load of cleanup to do on her furniture and had to return the rental moving van. I have gardening stories to tell of my mother… Maybe later in the post.
For now, I just want to say that September is my very favorite time to plant trees. I am hoping to get to the garden store and buy some…Because on this flat prairie land I am always happy for trees. Besides, I had planted Green Ash in a grove in the early years, long before the Emerald Ash Borer was ever known in these parts. Looking to the future I believe the trees will eventually succumb. I am thinking about planting replacements among them.
If you wish to read a past Spring report on things that could be planted in Autumn, you might be interested that those Prairie Fire Crabapples that I hoped would make it have indeed done very well for me. They have thickly blooming deep pink flowering branches. If I see some on sale I think I will buy two more and place them in proximity to the ones I planted before. I might even have a picture of a young tree blooming … If I dig around for it 😉
Like everyone else I most often plant new things in the Spring, but Autumn really is the better time, there is less work and the gound stays soft, moist, and warm long after the air turns frosty cold. The roots get a chance to burrow in and make growth for the coming year. There is always the chance that the weather will be too harsh, but normally a dormant tree can take the challenges of wintertime, and a mulch will keep new roots from heaving out in the frost action.
I so appreciate Annie of the Transplantable Rose blog adding me to her blogroll! I checked and saw that I somehow had not had her on mine…But that is now taken care of. She is a page to bookmark even if you don’t garden in Texas. I like all the photos, and she clues you into an array of things- movies, plants, garden blogs she likes. Like her, I should maintenance my blogroll and check to see that all the blogs listed are current, 404’s are the crabgrass of the internet- you can live with them but they are a nuisance.
Ok, a garden story of my mother and the Sycamore Tree.
I come by my love of trees genetically- my mother was an original tree hugger. Back in the sixties we lived on a tree-lined city street, the way most city avenues were at that time: large overhanging trees that shaded the asphalt and the concrete, that were hefty enough to climb, and which turned beautiful oranges and yellows in the fall. But along about the mid-sixties it became vogue to cut down all those trees- they were messy with their leaves that needed to be raked and their roots which cracked all the ticky-tacky sidewalk squares. And so they began to be felled… One or two at time along the streets. About four doors down was a giant Sycamore between the street and the sidewalk. An oddity of a former time, as its girth looked to predate the twenties when this neighborhood was likely a new subdivision on the outskirts of the city. A full grown Sycamore is more of a rustic country tree; it has ghostly white upper branches from the peeling bark, and usually is seen along river banks rising strongly with wide mottled trunks. It has large hand-like leaves, and little balls of seeds that litter the woodland floor and river banks. It is not a neat and tidy city tree. But such a giant takes many, many years to grow to such majestic proportion, and this tree stood alone in the neighborhood as a relic from the past.
The neighbor, however, had plans to cut it down. I don’t know how my mother caught wind of this fact… But it turned her into a tornado of activity to save that tree. She was successful for the time we lived there… I suppose the neighbor eventually did not know what to make of such fierce love of trees and determination… I have not been back there for a very long time and don’t know if her efforts remained efficacious, but the lesson of love for something that is not quickly replaced, and which speaks of natures grandeur is something that has stayed with me all my life. I mourn to see the reckless way ancient oaks and such are so often removed for more asphalt and more development housing…. And the convenience of today’s idea of “progress”.
It takes only a fierce and loyal love to instill in the coming generation a respect for growing things and preserved environments, and my mother had that. There are times for growing and times for cutting down…To paraphrase the passage of Ecclesiastes, but it is the time for preservation that we have most lost sight of, and which most needs our balancing efforts.
I have, now, a fast growing Sycamore tree in my field…grown from a seedling by my mother, and given to me some years ago now. In her home, which she now is leaving, there is the great Sycamore Mother tree … perhaps as large as that one she managed to speak for so many years ago. Which could well last through more generations … should it be allowed.