The bush that ate Nevada


Many years ago, long before I was took up any discernibly sustained interest in gardening, I planted a few very small forsythia bushes around the yard.  These were the large department store variety, about $5 apiece.  Something I thought I could almost afford back then, but still superfluous on a tight budget with the growing needs of a growing family.  And yet, if I wanted color fifteen years hence, I needed to start planting now. 

And I wasn’t terribly particular (or knowledgeable) about where these bushes should be planted, I merely knew where I WANTED them to be planted.  As I recall, one was ensconced next to the patio, a place which at that time was sorely neglected and fairly ignored in the hectic pace of family life.  It was also very shaded by a massive sycamore and several other overgrown bushes.  Another was put next to the driveway, which was more merciful that the patio since it at least had part sun, albeit probably not the best soil. A few others were put near the street, which eventually had to be completely uprooted several years later when the city street crews decided we need new curbs.  But one little bush I planted, much to my husband’s chagrin, in the very spot at the end of the driveway which was not only in full sun, but also the location where Bob had, for years, burned our autumn leaves.  Admittedly, I knew precious little about plants back then (and just as humbly I agree that I don’t know that much more now), but what I did know was that there was something about organic ash that makes good nutritious soil.  Spade in hand, in it went.

Of course, several things to consider:

  • Where we plant our precious investments of time and resources can make all the difference in usefulness and beauty down the road.
  • Plant in your life now what you want to enjoy later.
  • The most fertile soil for personal growth sometimes comes from the ash of personal tragedy.

In the fifteen-plus years since my forsythia-planting fury, the different bushes have grown, well…differently (as you can well imagine), or died, been replaced, or even flourished when replanted or transplanted.  But the little bush at the end of the driveway has since been renamed (by my husband) as “the Bush That Ate Nevada.” It had grown to become a monster, albeit a beautiful one, a mountain of bright yellow in the spring and lush green in the summer. The combination of sun and soil was perfect to produce such a specimen…

…and to see a bright red cardinal sitting within the yellow flowers was a sight to relish!

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