Every time we move to a new house I think to myself, “I should plant some trees; some apple or flowering plum or some such thing”. And then I don’t. My rationale wavers around it would be nice to see the trees grow and I don’t know how long we’ll be here. The latter wins out and I don’t plant the trees. I shouldn’t say I never plant trees because I did at one house and I’ve driven by years later and seen the glorious tall weeping birch that I planted. I was in awe of it and the solid place it had in the yard that I had nurtured.
And he plants trees. We live on five treed acres but still he plants trees. Trees that weren’t there, like a fancy birch and a Mountain Ash that he plants to enhance the forest we live in. By the way, my Step-mom told me that she plants a Mountain Ash everywhere she lives because it keeps the witches away so of course I had to look that one up. Mountain Ash or Rowan as it’s known is the witch-wood tree and provides protection against evil and witchcraft. Who knew?
I plant artichokes. Well, I plant other things too, like flowers and squash and all kinds of one-season wonders. I nurture and fret over my charges with fertilizer and water; not too much water. I watch the seasons gallop by with the short life-cycle of my plants.
He watches the seasons march on with the growth of trees as they meld into the forest and become part of the strength of time. Trees hold the memories of time passed on with families grown and gone. Trees hold the wounds of the puppies chewing on soft bark and the sanctuary of bird nests.
Artichokes give hope and excitement as first the spiky fronds grow and then the thistle tops form. The stems grow strong quickly with much anticipation of “will they make it or not?” After all, we live in the north of Canada where our gardening seasons are erratic at best even with the long lazy daylight of June. The harvest of my artichokes in time for my birthday the end of August and that’s it. Frost will come soon and the pots will be cleaned out until next May.
So here’s the thing; the juxtaposition of his trees and my artichokes works. The beauty is that we have the strong steady look at the long-term; the future as if to say “we were here” with his trees, and we have the fresh burst of growth and freshness every year with my artichokes. We need both those who plant trees and those who grow artichokes in a relationship. It works.