Saturday, December 02, 2006

Just leave me the birds and the bees...please!

This is the first "clear" weekend I've had since the semester began--I'll have to read papers tomorrow, and I have a few stragglers I need to grade--but I've actually had some time to work on my online class for spring and to plant my trees from the Arbor Day Society.

I joined the Arbor Day Society during the summer in retaliation for my neighbor cutting down 100-year-old trees. When I joined, the society promised me ten flowering or evergreen trees--I chose the flowering ones--and I subsequently ordered a number of other plants from them. The plants are inexpensive and provide me a way to spruce up my property without going broke. They all arrived at the end of this week and I needed to get them planted pronto. I wanted to have a planting party, but I just couldn't mobilize my forces quickly enough.

So, this morning, armed with a shovel and a rake, I went out and planted 20 plants. When I joined, I chose to receive 10 flowering trees: two Sargent Crabapples, two American Redbuds, two Washington Hawthorns, two White Flowering Dogwoods, and two Goldenraintrees. I later ordered five red Azaleas, two Southern Magnolias, and two Forsythias; for that order, I received a Red Maple.

Finding places for 20 plants/trees seems easier than it is. I tried to ensure that I left at least five feet between my plants, but I'm sure I'll need to transplant some of them next fall. I just needed to get them into the ground as soon as possible. I planted most of them along the fence in the backyard; I plan to create a bird/butterfly/bee garden back there. I already have Plum trees (I need another one of those for pollination; the Plums flower, but they don't produce) and two Mayhaws, so I'm off to a good start. And I have six White Dogwoods already; butterflies love those for laying eggs. I also have flowering Quince (also called "Japonica"--I love that word) and other assorted flowering plants whose names I haven't learned yet. In the spring, my yard blazes with reds, pinks, whites and yellows. I can cut flowers for my house and, while most of my flowering plants don't have smells, they are lovely to see.

If you like to grow plants, the Arbor Day Society is an organization I'd recommend. And $15 a year to help the environment seems cheap.

The only drawback is now I'm on every environmental organization's mailing list! I've received information from the National Audubon Society, the World Wildlife Federation, and the Nature Conservancy. And while the tote bags and bird feeders are tempting, I'd still rather have trees!

So, as Joni Mitchell sings, "Hey farmer farmer, put away the DDT now./Give me spots on apples, but leave me the birds and the bees...please." I want to think I'm doing my part to encourage the birds and the bees (and the butterfles) to hang around my house for a long time.

1 comment:

The R said...

I know how you feel. I guess when the commencement ceremony is over and done with, then I may feel different. My wife keeps asking me how do I feel. I'm just ready for what's next in my life and how do I get there?

Enjoy your cats, relax, and Japonica is an awesome word!