I have a news flash for you. None of us is getting any younger. Yet, we march through the years as if we will live forever.
It’s said the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. My birthday is Tuesday, and for the last few years, on every special date I celebrate, I do it by planting a tree. Remember the Royal Raindrops crabapples I planted last November? Okay, that wasn’t a holiday, but still. For Christmas, it was Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ (actually planted in January). Other plants include a southern magnolia for one anniversary and the maples planted for each of our children. The southern magnolia is thriving, and its lemony scented blossoms serenade me as I work in the garden in early summer. As for the maples, all died but one, and I’m sharing that because some experiments are not so successful.
Now, I’m wandering into evergreens.
This September, I thought about what I really wanted to see from our bedroom window, and I decided Cupressus arizonica var. glabra, Arizona cypress, would be best. In a bright, sunny and sandy spot in the side yard, it will glow.
I hope to see the cypress grow to its full glory, but if not, someone else will enjoy it at maturity and perhaps wonder who the gardener was that planted it. He or she will stand within its pendulous arms, touch those lacy blue branchlets while breathing in its evergreen scent. Perhaps, then he or she will look toward heaven with a smile.
At least, that’s what I like to think will happen, and in the meantime, I’ll continue to plant trees every chance I can. Annuals are like chocolate candy. Enjoyed for one season and then forgotten. Perennials are work horses, pulling the garden through the seasons, but trees, ah, they are the permanent fixtures of the landscape, the silent witnesses to our existence.
As Nelson Henderson said, “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, in whose shade you do not expect to sit.”