Saturday, April 2, 2016


The redbuds are in bloom right now, almost at their peak in our area. I look forward to them every year, their purple-red color a surprising splash against the bare trees and green, green grass.

There is one little tree I especially like, one I've grown from a seed. It was a seedling from the old redbud that was here when we bought this place. I was so sad to see that tree die. I guess there's a disease that attacks redbuds as they age, and mine fell victim. But not before one seed lodged against the walkway leading to the cellartop. I saw it as soon as the seed sprouted, and protected it with wire cages, buckets, baskets and anything else I could find. It managed to survive the digging dogs and cats, hunkered low to be missed by the weedeater and struggled for food with the encroaching periwinkle and ground ivy. I kept pulling away the weeds, threatening my husband with dire consequences if he cut it down, pruned it so that he could not complain about it overhanging the walkway. I was afraid to move it because redbuds have a very long taproot and aren't easy to transplant. I figured if I could keep it trained long enough it would not become a problem.

The little one is at least fifteen years old now, probably older than that because I know it was there when our youngest son was small, and he'll be thirty this year. Its shape is perfect, it's not in the way, and it blooms so prettily. My efforts were well worth this result.

And surprise, surprise! The old tree's roots sprouted new growth! So now I have another young tree growing where the old one once stood. Can you see me smiling as I type this?

The original tree meant a lot to me when we first moved here. This place was rough, believe me--mostly brush and briers and weeds. It was the only thing that bloomed in our yard the first year, and I needed its beauty badly. It reminded me, too, of the old tree in the side yard of the house where I grew up. That was "my" tree, and I had a little flowerbed at the base of it--mostly lily of the valley, bluebells and maybe a few other things. I wasn't the best gardener back then, preferring rough-and-tumble play to weeding and plant care, but I liked my garden, and I liked climbing up into the redbud with my sister Judy, lying on its big branches and daydreaming. Those are still good memories, and when the redbuds come into bloom they are called back each year.

The weather today has been wild with hard winds and driving rains later in the evening. The temperatures are predicted to go below freezing, and I am hoping the winds and the rain will prevent the frost from killing off the blossoms--especially those on the redbuds. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that they are spared, and will continue to brighten Spring for a few more days.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


Brighid said...

I too love the redbuds. They always remind me of the draws on the home ranch in spring. Nice to know yours are thriving.

Michelle said...

Our Redbuds are really beautiful right now. Always nice to see them ring in springtime!

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