The Lilac

Last year, the lilac bush in front of our house thought about having flowers, but Mother Nature warmed up  early and then turned really cold, just before the blooms appeared. This year, maybe in defiance, or to compensate for last year’s embarrassment, the bush has produced more bloom than we have ever seen on it. 

The picture below neither does justice to how the lilac looks nor does it give any indication of how it smells. The air is filled with its beauty.Image

 

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Spring

Spring has now been with us for well over a month. Temperatures have been warmer than normal and we seem to be missing a lot of rains. We did get a good soaker a couple of nights ago and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

We planted trees just the day before the rain came. Planting trees on our property has become a bit of an annual practice. The property right around our house is very hilly. Our lawn had some slopes that would stop our four wheel drive lawn mower and were maybe not the safest to cut. Over the past four years the steepest bits have been planted to a variety of evergreen trees (200 so far). We have also planted deciduous trees, maple, ash and soft maple around the perimeter of the lawn and now inside the perimeter as well. There are about 50 of those, some came from the bush on the property while others were purchased as seedlings. Recently, I’ve been transplanting volunteer maple and ash that have grown in the flower beds.

Getting deciduous trees to start has been a bit of a hassle. The first ones we planted came from the bush about six years ago. We dug them up carefully, used a post hole digger to make a good hole, and even used a bit of bone meal to provide nutrients. While some of these trees have taken off and are now over ten feet tall, others are smaller now than when we planted them, and still others have died and been replaced. Granted, the soil where these trees a planted is not the best with sand and gravel in some areas. Where the soil is good the trees have grown.

ImageWe have actually had the best luck with the deciduous trees that came from the nursery. I don’t think that it is because the stock is so much better, but rather, because we discovered Tubex tree tubes at the same time. Deciduous seedlings, in their natural environment, grow underneath the forest canopy. I’m taking them from there and asking them to grow in the open. The tree tube protects the small tree from the wind, creates a bit of a moist environment, and creates a greenhouse effect that gives the plant a little more heat. The results are amazing compared to trees without the tube. The trees reach out of the tube and will grow two to three feet in a year compared to the six inches that their non tubed brothers and sisters manage.

Last week, just before the rain, we put in a hundred more evergreens, balsam fir, white pine, red pine, and white spruce. I have less lawn to cut again and we will need to put up with a few years of ugly, waiting for the trees to have enough height to be seen above the grass. The wait will be worth it.

Of all the things I love most about spring, the best is wandering around looking at how all the things we have growing here change. I love to imagine the possibility of rows of trees towering over me. Spring is such an amazing time of growth and renewal.

God is at work in all of it.