Special Trees

Mimosa & Magnolia

Mimosa & Magnolia

There are lots of special trees on Mt Pleasant Farm. Some are huge & shade the house. Some, like the linden tree, suddenly burst into bloom. And the venerable 3-story pear tree that sometimes deigns to provide pears in the fall. Others are just starting out- the tiny redbuds that will grow into an allee along the drive, the lime tree in a pot that gets carried into the house in the fall.

But these two trees, the mimosa & magnolia between the house & the barn have stories.

The mimosa tree was a gift to Slim from a friend who heard he loved mimosa (powder puff is the local name) trees. She found one growing in someone’s front yard, and was given permission to dig up a seedling from under it. So 17 years ago, she brought Slim a 4-inch seedling for his birthday. I’m not good with height estimation, but it looks about 25 feet tall to me. It’s a magnet for hummingbirds, and the blossoms are wonderful. Slim may be gone, but the mimosa tree is one of his legacies to us.

The magnolia tree has an even stranger history. It was grown from a seed 16 years ago. There had been a magnolia tree in the front yard, probably nearly as old as the 200-year old house.  My mom was talking to the woman (then elderly) who had lived at Mt Pleasant before Slim. It turned out that she (Ms Lou Davison) had taken a slip from the tree with her, had grown it into a tree and was more than willing to pass on a seed. So this magnolia tree is the “grandbaby” of the original Mt Pleasant magnolia.

In my gypsy life, sometimes buying green bananas can be an act of faith. But thank goodness there are some people with enough patience and faith to plant trees.

Mimosa blossom (Powder puff)

Mimosa blossom (Powder puff)

3 Responses to “Special Trees”

  1. Brad says:

    Sara, when we lived in Reston in NoVA a million years ago, in the oldest part of the Lake Anne “new town,” there was a three-story tall magnolia right next to our end unit townhouse. It was protected from the wind there and seemed to flourish. The blossoms were beautiful! There were tall lindens in front, on the edge of the parking area, and they were beautiful, but some of the messiest trees I ever saw! They put out a LOT of seed material etc. In one place where we lived in Reston, I brought a section of day lillies from mom’s (now my sister’s) place, by air from MO. They had come from my grandma’s place and the originals were planed before 1920. They did really well and were still there last time we drove by. I suppose this transplant was an act of faith, but trees and flowers are survivors and will gratify us by their strength if we only give them half a chance. Your return to Virginia is an act of faith too. May your roots find welcoming soil there.

  2. Sara says:

    Thanks for your response, Brad.
    Sometimes it amazes me that we exist in a web of other people’s acts & so rarely realize it.
    Somehow being “Back East” it becomes clearer… I imagine your visit to Greece was even more so. It’s hard to imagine a place that’s “existed” for several centuries.

  3. Brad says:

    Sara, try “several millennia.” Each day there on “our” island I see terraced hillsides and know that some of those terraces were built more than 2000 years ago – some lots longer than that. There are threads among my friends there that go so far back. The matrix, though, is not that much more complex than anywhere else. It’s my growing awareness of the context of the matrix that makes the matrix SEEM more significant to me. Maybe it’s the same for you “back East.” As I read more about the long history of the PT area, I see more and more of its long, pre-European history. There’s a matrix here that affects anybody who comes, but most of us don’t realize where parts of it came from. You suppose maybe it’s SEEING the fabric of the matrix that makes it so much more interesting, so much richer to BE in it?