Pay it Forward

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All along the Mohawk Trail through the town of Charlemont someone planted daffodils years ago.  It’s probably a 10 mile stretch of the road on the north side where there are clumps of various types of these flowers.  I look forward to seeing them every year and am always sad to see them go.

Daffodils also grow in what seems to be random places.  You drive by what may once have been someone’s home, now gone and there are daffodils blossoming on what may have once been their front yard. I find the resiliency of these flowers amazing.  Not only do they come back year after year they multiply.  A few turn into hundreds.

This is one of the things I’ve learned about gardening over the years – it’s slow.  Whenever you are planting perennials, shrubs or trees you always have to think years down the road.  Don’t plant things too close together or you will end up digging them up.  Take into consideration the spread of some plants before you plant them.  I have echinacea that takes up a good part of a garden now, that was the intent.  It has other things growing with it but I love that sea of pink in the summer.

Bill thinks the idea of planting new maple trees in the front yard of the house as pointless because we won’t live to enjoy the shade.  I say plant them now so my grandchildren will have beautiful trees shading the front of the house in the summer like they did when I was a child.

Perennial gardens are gifts to future generations in my opinion.  Some of the gardens I have in Rowe were planted by my mother, most of the plants cames from her friends and aquaintances.  She planted them for herself and to beautify the property but as a gardener you know that she probably knew that the garden would go on long after she was gone.  I love being able to go through my flower gardens and know where the peony came from or the dark purple iris.  They came from people I loved dearly that are no longer with us.   I love my gardens because I remember a day spent with Bill or my sister sweating with a shovel or moving stones.  Year after year I will walk down the stone path and see how my flowers are filling in.  A few years from now I won’t have to worry about the weeds because the perennials will have taken over.  A few years after that I will be dividing things up and giving them away – to people I care about.  It’s all about paying it forward.

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