Conditions seemed favorable May 30, 2015, for planting trees and shrubs on our property: pleasant weather, an agreeable team of husband and wife, and a Dingo post hole digger with loader waiting for us at Romeo Rental.

The day before, we’d placed our new acquisitions in what we considered the ideal location for each shrub and tree. I set dwarf apple, pear, and peach trees in a ring near the pergola, visible from under the structure before the wisteria vines leaf out.

I’ve since plucked juicy peaches and pears off a tree and consumed the food in the pergola’s shade. Furthermore, I’m grateful my grandmother and mother taught me to enjoy a slice of peach pie and bowlful of peach cobbler a-la-mode.

Later in life, I met the giant Dawn Redwood tree in a Troy suburb when visiting a friend’s home and gardens. The tree’s width spanned her entire front yard. I had to crane my neck to see the tree’s crown. There and then, I visualized the masterly Dawn Redwood’s breadth on my property.

I’d planted winterberry shrubs along our lot line, south of the mature lilac hedge I’d planted the spring of 1989, the year we moved into our home. Those transplants from my mother’s Appalachian gardens still produce babies.

By the time my husband and I returned home with the Dingo and planted a few trees, drizzle fell. I ran into the house and resurrected our waterproof gear. I pulled on mine, for once I catch a chill, my gardening is over.

“I’m fine. It’s not that cold,” my husband said.

We dug hole after hole, rubbed the trees’ root balls loose, and planted them, tamped down the soil that never turned muddy in the rain.

We planted a red maple, two pines and one Dawn Redwood on the hilltop nearby the firepit. I’ve since christened the maple “The Storytelling Tree”, for its agreeable personality offers shade and encourages a good tale when it’s too hot to gather around a fire.

The Storytelling Tree and pines have also sheltered our solar tracker from wind and northern visibility, without inhibiting its range to turn with the sun.

At last, we set several Beauty Bushes along the lot line beside the gravel driveway and Linden tree. Oh, my goodness, when the tree and shrubs bloom, they produce luscious scents that stop me in my steps.

Speaking of steps, we planted a Linden tree on the other side of the valley upon the hill above the steps my handyman, Andy, built on the slope. Magnolia shrubs now bud on both sides of the steps. Nearby the Linden tree, they make a lovely trio.

Dear Reader, the sun still shines. The wind lays quiet. I’ve time for some deadheading and tree inspection before nightfall. Furthermore, I’ve a gift certificate to a nursery in remembrance of my late husband.

A Beauty Bush beside Mo’s gravestone nearby Mel’s shed would be perfect. Mo was a faithful, beautiful cat. And one can never have enough trees and shrubs.

Contact Iris at