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Give and Take

March 26, 2010

Thanks to one of my faithful readers, Betty Lee, I was able to enjoy my favorite garden task . . . planting, which is probably why I slept so well last night.

Like many people, the broken economy has entered my household. I’ve made major cutbacks, including the indulgence of a few annuals. Plans to replace the perennials removed west of the oak tree are on hold. (Read Acorn Blues about this change.) Here’s the miserable thing about doing away with planting . . . I love to plant. I don’t “have” to place anything into the ground or pots. It’s not a necessity, but it is something that gives me a great deal of joy.

Occasionally, I hear about someone who wants to cut back on their yard work and ends up throwing out plants or pots because they can’t find a taker. Therefore, I decided to find a giver. Many of the subscribers, who received In and Around the Garden when it was an e-newsletter, live nearby. Without explanation, I emailed them asking if they had x-large pots (one of mine broke), topsoil, single-trunk dwarf plants, or Japanese Maple trees that they wanted to get rid of, and if so to please contact me.

Betty’s reply gave me hope.

Betty has lived in the same house for 40 years, and tends the lawns, and trees and shrubs all by herself, potting up every little shoot that reseeds from other plants or carried in by birds or wind. The front and back yards are neat and tidy with seasonal color spots. Betty led me through the side yard, and instructed me to grab the upright wheelbarrow leaning against the fence. Following behind her, I pushed it to a southeast corner. I expected a seedling (the wheelbarrow should have been a clue), so imagine my surprise when Betty pointed to a five-foot Japanese Maple tree! The tree was mine—all mine—to take home and plant! It nearly took my breath away. A tree this size would cost $50 to $70! How blessed am I?

Pushing the full wheelbarrow to the car, Betty asked me to stop. She reached down, picked up some pansies, and said these are for you. I was beaming . . . squealing inside . . . grateful to have met up with such a generous lady. Thank you, Betty Lee!

Maybe planting had nothing to do with a good night’s sleep.

Copyright © 2010 Dianne Marie Andre

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