February 25, 2008

Saying Goodbye to the Trees

My Nana Pat had camellia trees all along the side of her house, and even though it was kind of scary under the trees on the dark path between the house and the fence, I loved it there when the trees were heavy with pink blooms.

I love the tight little bundles the buds make, and I love the way there are so many petals that they have to throw themselves to the ground to make room for each other. I promised myself that one day when I grew up and had a house of my own, I would plant camellias-- fuschia, white, speckled-- and pale pink, of course, because that was Nana's favorite color.

It never crossed my mind that my lovely new house might be in the forest in Massachusetts and that maybe camellia trees wouldn't bloom there. I've been fretting over this for the last six months, and I'm still trying to figure it out, but camellias must bloom somewhere around there because the Harvard Arboretum is having a camellia exhibit:

March 1, 2, 2008 - Massachusetts Camellia Society’s 179th Annual Exhibition, Noon-4, camellia japonica displays at the longest continuing exhibition of camellias in US. Live musical performance and information on Camellia care. Camellias for sale. All welcome. Free.


Information on camellia care! I am in luck-- except that I'll have to wait to attend the 180th annual exhibit next year.

Still my curiosity about the camellias lead my brain down other paths: What about the gingkoes? The dogwoods? The sycamores that make a pollen-laden archway above Central Avenue? The loquat? What about the fig? I am a huge fan of the fig! I have a history with these trees, and what will happen to that history when I am no longer hanging around their foliage like a wild fruit?

And then I realized that we have three of our very own trees we won't be able to truck across the country, and one of them is Buckaroo's placenta tree. Buckaroo was born at home, and his placenta was planted in the soil of a mandarin tree that we bought when I was preggapotamus and two days past my due date.

The sales lady asked when I was due, and I cheerfully said, "two days ago."
"I think you better get out of here," she said, and she wasn't joking.
Little did either of us know that I'd have to wait another eight days for the boy to arrive.

The other tree is a potted Meyer's lemon that grows the itty bittiest lemons ever. They are the perfect size for squeezing in a cup of hot tea.

Our friend Cynthia says she will care for these trees and we can visit them any time, and they will look much happier in her garden than they do in our neglected yard at the moment.

Then there's the ficus I bought when I was in college in Chico. It's older than Sweet Potato, and it's still alive! It's the one plant I have managed to keep alive (R has been responsible for the trees) for any extended amount of time. I bought it a beautiful blue pot and trained the branches to wind around each other. I've even been known to dust the leaves, and I am not a tidy person.

I just realized that I never named my ficus. I'm going to call him Phil. My mom said she will take care of him for me, but I'm not sure I can trust her. The last time I left her with some Italian herbs while I was away on vacation, and when I returned she said, "I killed them," and handed me three empty pots.

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