finished the April issue of Horizons Magazine yesterday and headed outside to do some hand watering for a few hours. I can see the turk’s cap and arbicola are coming back, and the mulberry tree is loaded with new leaves and small berries. I have 3 loquat trees all getting fruit at the same time, and the live oaks have all dropped their dead leaves as the new ones have come on. The entire property floor is covered in fallen oak leaves and everywhere I walk there is a crunch, crunch. I’m once again under a high canopy of shade, and getting a little more privacy now that the live oaks are waking back up. I walked around with my clippers and pruned the frostburnt ends off. I made a few dozen cuttings and stuck them in the ground for a privacy hedge by next summer. I talked to the orchid tree, bent her branches and gave her a few taps to wake her up. She’s shown me dozens of baby orchid blooms in the past week.
The orchid tree wasn’t meant to be planted beneath the bamboo, it just kind of happened. I had the orchid in a five gallon pot that I just happened to place under the bamboo one day, to get it out of my way as I mowed. At some point, it grew into the ground and when I noticed it, I cut the pot away and gave it a mound of good dirt and mulch. I should have moved the tree then, since that area would soon become shaded for half of each day. But I had other priorities, and as I tended to them, the orchid tree dug itself more deeply into the ground.
I knew how she felt. Maybe this shaded garden wasn’t the ideal place to thrive and bloom to full capacity, but it was what she was used to and it felt comfortable and she liked sharing space with the big bamboo. Sure, more sunlight would grow the orchid tree bigger, but only if I gave her the extra attention via the extra watering she’d need from being in the sun. Sometimes it’s hard to be motivated to reach for more when I am happy in my world as it is. Like my orchid tree under the bamboo, I’ve survived frostbite and am happy giving small blooms.
The bamboo, I haven’t had time to Google it yet so I don’t know if they are gone or not. Three quarters of the stand are tall, brown sticks with no leaves. So the orchid tree is getting some extra sun right now, as it did when the live oak lost its leaves. I see a bunch of new bamboo coming on. We’ll see. I could use a dozen bamboo poles for a project if they’re gone.
One good thing to come out of the frost this winter is that so much of my overhead shade disappeared, that my home was kept warmer by the sunlight on the roof. All the plants and bushes in the courtyards underneath the bare branches got a chance to get full sunlight and they’ve begun to thrive.
It’s like everyone has gotten a new start. With my bushes, I pruned them mindfully, in the direction I wanted the bud and branch to go next. It gave me a change to untangle some branches that had long grown together, and give everyone some breathing room.
Hmmm, I thought, a metaphor for other areas in my life as well. Just clearing away the tangled undergrowth so I don’t keep tripping myself up in it.
Seeing the path with clearer eyes now that more sunlight shines on it.
I love new beginnings.