Location: Newcastle, Ontario, Canada

Born in Toronto, a degree in Psychology at Carleton in Ottawa, ran a photography business for 10 years from a studio in Parkdale, Toronto, apprenticed with a stained glass artist, and, and, and...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Gingko trees and mother nature

Fallen apples from our sole tree.

August, 2005:
As if there are not enough things to take care of, I've gotten into root hormone. Not literally but keen to try it on any cutting I make. Heck, I'd even try it on a weed cutting to get a sense of magic. I mean, it doesn't seem right to take a grown plant, cut a bit off, stick it in this powder and voila, new roots. What would this do on a cut on me? If I cut off an arm by accident in the forest with the chainsaw should I have this by my side to kick start a baby arm in its place. Seems devilish, as if I signed somewhere I shouldn't have and can't remember. But heck, since I guess I've signed away my soul I might as well play.

So I do, with dogwood cuttings from the back pasture, boxwood cuttings from my little bushes, some plants still in their store pots a friend just bought and so on. It even goes with me when I travel. So when we packed up the kids and headed to Tim's Uncle David and Aunt Marilyn in Baie-D'Urfe, it was in my pocket.

Now, David and Marilyn are the real rooting hormone. People that make you feel always welcome, that seem to make you realize how much the simple process of living is the key to living life full. I get the sense that if one were ill at ease of unsettled that that would pass with some time at their place. Nothing direct from them, just them expanding to envelop you and then for them to continue as they were and for you to find yourself healing by doing the same.

Flowers from Marilyn's garden.

Garden at MacDonald campus.

But ill at ease were the flowers in Marilyn's garden...the flowers seemed to know I was up to no good as they moved away as best as they could when I approached. Her garden is wonderful, quintessential. Wraps around her backyard in kidney patches, lush layers that flucuate with color and smells.

From Phyllis' garden.

I was given permission to cull a few and did, cutting quickly then dipping in the hormone then putting the stem in already prepared tiny holes in fresh soil. A bit of a terrarium was made by taping plastic containers over the top to keep the moisture in. The main hope for success was some ginko shoots I found on a walk in MacDonald College, behind their house. I came across an old ginko tree and at its base, fairly flourished mounds of young ginkos. Now I don't know how they grow so it was dubious at best but what a thought, to be able to bring a gingko tree to Newcastle and have it successfully develop roots and survive on our land. I hoped but secretly knew I was asking even too much of this potent hormone. Hilary joined me in this attempt, taking hers back to Edmonton. What a coup that would be. But I think there was a lesson there. If it was so easy we couldn't possibly properly enjoy our efforts. They didn't succeed, although some hydrangea bush cuttings did, as well as some Black-eyed Susans and a few others. Mostly it was a fun experiment.

The gingko holds some extra meaning to me as Tim and I used the leaf's image on our wedding invitation, its two halves melding into the stem. Coincidentally, after we had decided to do this we bought a boatload of salmon, for our wedding dinner, from a friend's uncle's sushi restaurant called Gingko! It seems so prehistoric a tree, like cycads that to be close to one is very satisfying.

The gardens back home were past their peak but still lush and full. At this point I was adding anything I could so that next year I could extend the flower garden and take some of these late planted flowers and transplant them to the new garden.
I am not great at extrapolating a garden so that at any given time there are blooms. I needed to learn more from Marilyn and Tim's Aunt Phyllis about this. Both accomplished gardeners that quietly create rich places for the eyes and nose.

And finally, Owen turned four this month, to the sight of balloons being released into the sky to mark the event, with notes attached. No responses yet but he's only four. Maybe when he's an adult someone will come forward with a shriveled bit of rubber balloon and an old, hastily written note to remind him of this day.
Images from Owen's party.


Anonymous the pink raisin said...

I often think back to the ginkos too! How hopeful I was and how, one by one they quietly left this life. Never mind, there are always ginkos and there will be more opportunities to try again. It's good to hear that some of the things worked! I loved the pictures expecially of Owen's party and the balloon soaring up into the sky. Such a neat idea!!
So glad too, to know that the writing keeps coming. thanks a lot! May it never end.

8:17 p.m., March 28, 2006  
Blogger gardengirl63 said...

Thanks Hilary, for kick-starting me again. I needed your words of encouragement to get me back on track.

8:23 p.m., March 28, 2006  
Blogger fenris64 said...

Lovely to read more, love. You have created/are creating a wonderful legacy of our first year here. Brava!

5:06 p.m., March 29, 2006  

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