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Down on my knees by the hyacinths to plant a black tulip magnolia tree

In the previous home where we lived, I planted a star magnolia tree. It is blooming in the yard now, and I was telling my daughters how beautiful it smells in the dusk during its brief blooming season. I missed it; it is a lovely tree.

Today I decided I wanted to purchase another star magnolia tree to plant where we live now. The other attempts at something flourishing in this spot had failed: a beautiful Korean lilac, a miniature rose. But I thought a star magnolia could do the job.

I went to the nursery and they had none on hand. But the guy there asked me if I’d like to see another magnolia that they had. I was surprised, not knowing that there were other magnolia varieties that would do well in Utah. He showed me these young trees with absolutely gorgeous burgundy blooms and broad rich green leaves. He said they were black tulip magnolias. I loved them immediately! I brought a small tree home and went to work digging,  planting, and fertilizing the new tree. It looks just right in the place I planted it! I am so excited as I anticipate it growing and blooming each spring, giving us a lovely colorful show through our front window or when we drive up to our home.

One of the joys of planting our new tree was being on my knees next to the purple hyacinths in bloom on the border of this garden. Oh, they smelled heavenly! Talk about aromatherapy! I wished I could take a nap with that smell wafting on a gentle breeze. Ahhh.

So then I went to town pruning like a mad woman, the espalier apple trees on the other edges of this garden. They have grown with almost no training or discipline. What are a pitiful sight! Really, I feel very sad about them. Only one of them may turn out. I had such hopes to shape them into something beautiful and fruitful. Alas, I didn’t pay my dues. The first two were planted too close together; I didn’t get them trained early enough to make a lovely shape; I wanted them moved out of the garden this winter, but the weather has been so warm that we didn’t have a long enough freezing time to be able to move them. So I cut them way back, as if I were trying to humble them. Perhaps they will yet turn out to produce fruit and be an asset. But I feel terrible. They could have been so much lovelier than they are.

Of course, I can’t help but think about the analogies for nurturing children in all of this gardening. But that’s a post for another day, when I have showered and have dinner ready and don’t have to get going fast before I’m late for our evening commitments!

(I wish I had photos to illustrate this post. Unfortunately, my phone is experiencing some issues that I don’t know how to solve, so I can’t take pictures presently. Oh well!)

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