Things I will miss

I moved this summer, from a house I’d lived in for 15 years.  Now that it’s up for sale–the realtors are holding an open house there today, in fact–I keep thinking of all the things I will miss about it. So I thought I’d put a few of them out there, as a way of saying good-bye.

A few years ago, two big Japanese maples stood near the deck, giving generous shade.

And then a sprinkler head shifted, and I didn’t notice, and a year later one of the maples began to look a little unhappy…

When I investigated more closely, I found that the sprinkler had been keeping the bark wet for months on end.  Wet bark rots.  And when a tree has no bark, the nutriments don’t reach the leaves.   Despite all my efforts of first aid, carving back first one branch, then another, the tree died.

Having dead wood where once a luscious maple grew is a depressing thing.

But when I looked at it, I remembered a thing I had seen at my daughter-in-law’s house in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, a gorgeously blooming armful of orchid nestling in the branches of a tree (that one living—in the tropics, trees that don’t care for the wet don’t live past the seedling stage.)  And I thought, I wonder if one of the house orchids would grow outside?  So I took two or three of the scruffier-looking specimens, wrapped their roots in those little peat pots with some growing medium, strapped them into place, and ran a dripper hose up into the tree.

And wouldn’t you know it?   After three years of sitting there, just as I was packing up, the first one threw out a bud.

And as I carried and scrubbed and emptied the house, the orchids bloomed.

And kept blooming. Almost as if they were trying to tell me something.

I’m eyeing the trees in my new house, wondering if any of them might be persuaded to die.

Comments

  1. What a remarkable story… love that the orchids bloomed on the dead wood.. your own tropical rainforest.

  2. Laurie,

    Have sadly had the same thing happen with several ornamental shrubs. Not as painful as a stately maple, I’m sure, but quite discouraging and left me feeling like I should have been more attentive to their plight. All the best for you and the trees at your new place of residence.

  3. Merrily Taylor says:

    What a beautiful house and setting, Laurie. Your story about the orchids reminds me of my lilac bush (given to me by a friend, a cutting from her mother’s garden) which chose to bloom for the first time the summer I left Providence. Perhaps it’s their way of saying “Goodbye and good luck!”

  4. Why wait for a dead tree? Attach them to a live one. People in Florida do that all the time.

  5. Laurie King says:

    People in Florida live in a tropical climate, where trees are accustomed to being sponges. Not here in California, alas.

  6. or live.

    😉

  7. Gail Lelyveld says:

    Don’t worry! Your new trees will surprise and delight you.

  8. Christine says:

    It is good to honor the things that we love. I have had to move many times in my life and leave many people, places, and things behind. The best thing is making new memories in your new place.

  9. A Fan of Deduction says:

    I have the same problem with fish, well at least it dying, fish dont excactly rot from the inside out. That would be guesome…..

  10. An inquiring mind says:

    Not sure where in CA you have moved to, but you certainly could move your orchids out in summer, depending on species. I’m in the Great Lakes area, and all my orchids spend the summer and early fall outside, under/hanging from an apple tree, around the yard, or in a covered plant stand. They love it. (current count approx 100’ish)

    Not sure how into orchids you are, but I suggest getting in contact with your local orchid society for suggetions for your area. You can find a list of local societies at http://www.aos.org (American Orchid Society).

    Your Oncidiums looked particularly happy, since that one looks like it put out 2 spikes. Very nice!

  11. An inquiring mind says:

    Not sure where in CA you have moved to, but you certainly could move your orchids out in summer, depending on species. I’m in the Great Lakes area, and all my orchids spend the summer and early fall outside, under/hanging from an apple tree, around the yard, or in a covered plant stand. They love it. (current count approx 100)
    Not sure how into orchids you are, but I suggest getting in contact with your local orchid society for suggetions for your area. You can find a list of local societies at http://www.aos.org (American Orchid Society).
    Your Oncidiums looked particularly happy, since that one looks like it put out 2 spikes. Very nice!

  12. TheMadLibrarian says:

    It’s been a while… how goes the move?

Speak Your Mind

*

*

css.php