Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Nobody's Perfect

It's a cloudy and rainy day, as per usual here in the Pacific Northwest. So, as per usual, I am spending a lot of time looking out of my windows watching it rain. One of the things I like looking at is all of the trees that surround our house, because John and I chose and planted each one.

The last time John's mom came to visit, she strolled around our back yard and laughed, "You have so many strangely shaped trees!"

It's true, we do. And there's a very good reason for that.

Just because we chose each tree doesn't mean that we picked it for it's particular beauty. Lots of our trees are rescue trees -- ones that someone else was digging up and planning on running through the chipper or tossing into the compost pile.

I can't stand that.

They're living things......I have a big empty yard......can't they live at MY house??

This drives John absolutely bonkers. He doesn't see our yard as being big OR empty. He thinks we have far too many discarded trees living there and that this flora orphanage should be closed permanently.

Sniff. Sniff....::sad Julia::

We have all sorts of wonderful trees and plants and shrubs that others were tossing away: rhododendrons, holly, Douglas fir trees, a gorgeous flowering plum tree, a willow, and my very favorite tree of all -- Camo.

A friend of a friend gave us a call several years ago and wanted to know if we would like to adopt a ".....small deodar. They planted it too close to their house and want to get rid of it."

Sure! I happily said, and immediately sent John and the kids over to dig it up.

We have another deodar, planted about ten years ago. I had the not-so-brilliant idea that Christmas to buy a living tree for inside the house, then the plan was after the holidays were over, I'd plant it outdoors. Well......it didn't take long to realize that this poor tree would never survive living inside our house at ALL. It began dropping needles and turning colors about a week after we brought it in. And gee, I had watered it like crazy and read all about how this was so easy and possible and good for the environment... So we hauled the thing out to the yard and planted it quickly before it died, and he loved our backyard. He's a picture perfect specimen of a Cedrus deodara. Look how healthy and happy and enormous he is!

I call him Chris. For Christmas, of course. He's a monster.

But back to Camo.....

When John and the kids arrived to rescue him, they found him all spindly and hopelessly stuck between a concrete driveway and the house. He was all yellow and sad and not as small as advertised. Actually, he was about ten to twelve feet tall. It took an enormous amount of work and muscle and one broken shovel to dig this poor guy out of his location. When John finally tied up his roots in a burlap bag and put him in the truck, Camo was so tall that he hung over the front of the cab. The kids laughed and said that the truck was camouflaged, and our tree had his name.

Although it's obvious that Camo likes his new home; he's tripled in height at the very least and has grown all sorts of new branches; he will never be a perfect deodar specimen. Not even close. Actually, he's probably unrecognizable as a deodar.

Check out all those crazy branches. How cool is that?

But I love him even more for it.  I smile whenever I see him and think about how pathetic he had looked slumped over our pickup truck, and how green and happy he is now.

And he IS happy. He told me so just the other day.

I identify with people - and trees - that aren't perfect specimens. Because they're just like me.


Gertrude said...

But you are perfect. You are talking to the wrong people (yourself) if you don't think you are. You are awesome and you don't even have any crazy branches.

Amy Junod said...

This made me smile.

A few years back we lost one of our Bradford Pears to a tornado. I was heartbroken. I like to think he sacrificed himself for us. We were in the bathtub on that side of the house.

When we surveyed the damage in the neighborhood it was as if Mother Nature had one of those hand held mixer things.

I love the idea that all of your rescues are thriving. Love and patience are the best fertilizer.

ShEiLa said...

I love your trees!!! They do look happy in your yard.


Shannon said...

I love that you've named your trees and rescue them ;) I haven't had a yard in over 10 years and I sure do miss gardening too.

Thank you for sharing this lovely story! :D