I am a tree girl.

The kids were on a little vacation with their grandparents, so I was able to run down to the Hershey Gardens for a little mommy "stroll-at-my-own-pace" time.  Last time I was there, I kind of shocked myself because I just walked through the {incredible} rose garden and kind of said "Eh...it's okay" in my head.  The same girl that waxed poetic on the David Austin Rose collection is saying "Eh" to one of the greatest rose collections in the world.  Wow.  Let me explain.  Although the collection is immense and the roses beautiful, it is all laid out in formal rows of rose bushes only.  ...and if you know roses, you know they are large thorny, rambling canes.  In other words, we would hate them if they didn't produce roses.  SO, the long lines of thorny branches didn't do much for me.  I like my roses surrounded by prettier foliaged plants like artesima in the summer and bleeding heart in the spring.  (...and truth be told, the tea roses just don't have the scents of the English roses...)

...but what does that have to do with being a tree girl?  Well, this is the thing.  After I left the rose garden, I spent most of my time in the arboretum where the trees are at least 100 years old.  Big stately, beautiful trees that have been pruned to have a low canopy.  You know, the type that have big, long horizontal branches 3 foot from the ground that you can lift up and go under?  You know, the type that have a big open, beautiful shaded space inside under the branches, big heavy trunks that look like they would beat up anyone that wants to hurt you, and the type that has tangles of roots all over the ground, coming up out of the soil - roots that must be little roads for chipmunks and expressways for ants.  Those are the kind of trees I love.

Maybe it is that sense of protection, the pure masculinity of a giant tree like that.  Maybe I'm drawn to the privacy of the interior of a tree...like a kid that hides up in the canopy of their favorite backyard tree.  You climb up and look down and see and hear everything that is going on, but nobody can see you or find you.  You're hidden, and safe and cool and at peace.  Maybe it is that peek of sky through the twisting leaves in the wind that allows you to see without being seen.  That is what I like about a tree.

Now, don't get me wrong, I do love my roses and I adore peonies in the spring, and I am a big fan of sedum that I can pop stems of into the ground anywhere and they will grow, and I will knock you over trying to get the first tomato of the season.  That isn't even mentioning the aromatic plants like the sweet musk of lilac and lavender and the fruity David Austin roses that will make you swoon, or even the lemon balm that is somehow cleansing and calming in the same breath.  I like them all.  a lot.  That's why I try to convince you Pottery Barn and baby lovers to try gardening.  ...but you know how men have a type?  They might like long flowing hair, and beautiful eyes and luminescent skin, or even a great personality and the charisma of a woman...but what do they really like?  Well, typically there are bum men, leg men and the men that like a rack.  Almost all men are one of the three and while most like all three as well as a host of other things about their woman, if they had to pick one thing, it would be a bum, a set of gorgeous gams or some boobies.  Yes, I know it's a bit crass, but it is true, and it applies to gardening.  There might be a million scents you love, a million plants you want and a million flowers that you HAVE to grow, but there is one thing that makes your heart feel at home.  For me, that is a tree.  A giant old purple beech with arms hovering a few feet from the earth, a cavern of cool, peaceful space waiting underneath...all open and empty...just me and the tree.

SO babies, when I die, can you plant me under a tree please?  I don't know what the official burying rules are, but if you can manage, bury me without a casket so whatever is left of my old rotted body can nourish a tree.  ...and by the way, get a tree that will last like an oak or a beech or a maple.  Please don't buy a crabapple that only gets 15 foot tall or a cherry tree that will need to be replaced in 20 years.  Get some awesome, stately shade tree that will grow huge and strong, and grow a nice big canopy with arms hovering a few feet from the earth, a cavern of cool, peaceful space waiting underneath...all open and empty...just waiting for someone else to enjoy.  Seriously, I would much rather give a tree a start in life than nourish the cemetery grass for a few years.  Do you hear me babies?  Under a TREE!


Fresh Mommy said…
I love it when I get to walk at my own slow pace and take in the beautiful settings. And I think your babies got the message. :)

Beautiful pics, mama!

Wakela Runen said…
I love the big foliage trees best too. Growing up, my next door neighbor had one. And even though her kids were all grown up and moved away, the neighborhood kids used to sit back and relax under that tree. Ms. Frances would even bring us lemonade and sweet tea (the kind made in the jar out in the sun) out to us. It was a nice way to beat the Florida heat. Thanks for bringing back those wonderful memories for me!
Denise said…
I am also a tree girl. In our new garden, we skipped putting in a patio, and put in a 15-year-old October Glory Maple instead. It's gorgeous.

I love roses also. Planted about 60 of them. :-)