By Gail Jacobs
Sometime back when I was in grade school probably second or third grade my family had a kindly old neighbor lady who I called “Mint”. I have no idea how I came to call here that but looking back it seems fitting. Mint introduced me to seeds. I dug out the grass and created a little patch of raw ground to put the seeds in. It is funny how time plays tricks on my memory but I do not recall if any of those seeds grew or not but the seed was planted in my heart and soul. Other “plant” memories are a little more vivid like my mother saying things like “you don’t know a bean from an onion” so I was not allowed to do any weeding in the family garden. Each year my parents would have a huge garden full of white half runner beans and all of the common edibles. As a young person, I thought this was normal and took it for granted that these foods were available and I did not learn the art of vegetable gardening even though I loved to eat and look it still to this day!
Not until I married did I return to an interest in growing anything. I murdered many plants, still do, but one thing that I planted at our first home and carried to our current home was a goofy maple tree that came free with a plant order. Certainly, the plants from the order have long since died but the goofy maple survives. I call it goofy because its limbs are weepy and they get so heavy in the late spring that they touch the lawn making it difficult to mow under, up from its roots and its limbs shoot new branches and the whole tree is brittle and breaks with heavy snowfall or ice. I have this soft spot for it because we carried from one home to another it is my oldest living plant/ tree for this reason I treat it as if it were a baby to be nurtured. This goofy tree has been home to many families of mourning doves and I often wondered do doves return year after year to the same nest? Yes, they may and they can live up to five years so the nurtured tree will need to stay in place for the doves. I am planning to get the saw out to remove some of those “knock you off the mower” branches those things can be dangerous. I can recommend that you take a moment to walk your property and take note of those branches that are “knock you off the mower” height and cut them off!
For me all things are difficult to grasp and do properly so I wish you the best of luck in your green space. Remember it is YOUR space so if something does not suit you change it; these bumps along the way just make the trip more beautiful. If you did not know a “Mint” maybe you can be one to a young person, or if you do have a “Mint” in your past give her a heartfelt thank you.
Time is precious use it well.