When I first saw Gloria, she was confined to a pot. She, along with a whole bunch of other plants and garden thingies, was on her way to the dump as her family scurried to empty out their home which had just sold. I thought she was some kind of palm, not looking closely. Threw her into the bed of the truck along with some sorry-looking geraniums and a few succulents. Didn’t know what I was going to do with them, but it just didn’t seem right to send these struggling little life forms to the dump, so they came back to the farm for assessment and reassignment.

 

She sat in her pot for a week or two, until my Kelly (daughter/garden designer/wise person) could take a look and tell me what to do with her. “Ma, it’s a Norfolk Pine! It’s a tree! You can’t keep this in a pot or in your shade garden.”  “But she’s so graceful, and looks kinda like a fern.” “Ma, she’s gonna be 150 feet tall.” “Oh.” Then it occurred to me that a space had opened up on the hillside in the back pasture where I’d payed some real money for a young redwood tree, lovingly planted it to complete a tree screen, then neglected to water it. End of redwood tree. Now I would try for redemption with my rescue tree, not really thinking through — as usual — what was involved.

 

 

Gloria, as she came to be known, named for Jodie’s mother (who chained herself to a lovely old tree which was scheduled for removal to make way for a new post office), was planted on the hillside, a few feet away from the skeleton of the dead redwood tree which I’d never had the heart to remove. We had some good rain after that, so no worries for the first week or two. Then came the part where I realized I had to trudge up that hill with the watering can every couple of days to keep her going. July weather arrived, this year as warm and dry as you’d hope, and I’ve managed to get up that hill every few days and douse her. She began looking a bit weary and yellow around her skinny little base, though, and the tips of those few branches, underdeveloped little furry arms, were dying back. It might have been a little discouraging for her to look up at the wall of maturing redwoods she was now standing next to. You could just imagine her little bony green self sighing as she gazed up at her magnificent pasture-mates, so much greener and so tall, and of course they were part of a forest they were all related to.

 

Then, as I was watering her yesterday, I realized she’s grown a new top! There it was, as jaunty and feathery as a new green chapeau. And then, looking closely, what was that sticking out of her main stem, right next to the ground? A new stem. Hmmmmm.
Mizz Gloria obviously has a plan of her own, this Southern Belle of a tree start. Will she find her way among her straight and solid Coastal Redwood companions? Stay tuned. It’s gonna take a while to see where this goes.

 


26 Comments

  1. Melsy says:

    Awwww such a beautiful story!!! Gloria is so beautiful, I can’t wait to see her grow more!!! Merci for sharing Gloria’s journey with us!!!

  2. TinaFunez says:

    Love this, Lynne! Mizz Gloria is beautiful. That lil feathery chapeau is just adorable. Thank you for the pics. Looking forward to watching her grow grow grow!

  3. Diana says:

    What a trooper she is! Sounds like she needed a little time to adjust. Keep us posted Lynne and Thank You for planting more trees! It makes mother earth happy too 🙂

  4. Chanda says:

    With care, commitment and patience, anything is possible. Good lesson. Sounds like Jodie had one cool mama. Thanks for the great story!

  5. stephl says:

    I’ve been hoping we’d hear the story since we heard Deidre talking about climbing Mt. Everest to water her. So glad that ‘Gloria’ is doing well. I really enjoyed reading her story, Will look forward to following her journey.

  6. Noelle C says:

    Beautiful story and timely for me since we just saved 6 bushes that someone had torn out and laid by the road to die. They look great in our back yard, and we have had two days of rain since we planted them, so hopefully they will make it. I’m guessing you still haven’t installed that irrigation system yet?

    • Lynne says:

      We’ve got irrigation in the front for all the fancy little garden plants, but no way is it gonna be extended to the pastures! Our water comes from an ancient system that brings it from our little creek, so we’re pretty stingy about how we use it. Anyway, I’m kinda enjoying the ritual of climbing up that hill to see my baby tree and make sure the water gets right to her roots. Plus, yesterday, while I was up there, I saw our wild turkey and her one baby; thought the baby was gone and was so happy to see the fat little thing fluttering behind her very elegant mother.

  7. kimberleo says:

    It is my opinion that her name itself will come to show how strong she is. There’s not a Gloria I know who hasn’t stood up to the roughest of struggles and come out the victor, no matter how difficult the times may get. This Mizz Gloria will stand tall and proud!

  8. LaurieandDeeAnn says:

    Lovely story, Lynne! Thank you for sharing it! Miss Gloria is beautiful! 🙂

  9. Jodie B says:

    Finally getting a chance to comment! Obviously I love, love, love this blog! Her namesake would be so excited to have this little lady named after her. I get my love of trees from my sweet mama. She could tell you stories of us going to the Christmas tree lot when I was a child and me picking the ugliest tree. When she and my daddy asked me why? My answer was always that I was worried it would be alone on Christmas because nobody would buy it. To this day I have a “Charlie Brown Tree” in addition to my other trees at Christmas. Thanks Lynne for taking such good care of Mizz. Gloria! She will expect a bit of bling at Christmas btw! XO

  10. Rose says:

    Another beautiful story, Lynne. It’s a good thing you raised a wise daughter that knows her plants. That’s amazing the way you loved and nurtured the little tree back to life. Now, it’s growing big and tall. And one day, Miss H and future grandchildren can visit beautiful Gloria. The tree their grandma planted.

  11. Kelley Marie says:

    Love the story of Gloria. Keep growing Gloria and way to Lynne for your dedication!

  12. Destiny says:

    Awwww, what a wonderful story! It sounds like Miss Gloria is quite happy at her new home. Good job truckin’ up that big ol’ hill everyday, she should feel quite loved indeed! I love how you write, have I told you this? Reading this, it was as though I took that trek up to visit her with you..I love trees, they offer a sense of hope somehow, no? I’m starting to feel a feel an affection for Pescadero, which I find interesting being I’ve never been there.:) Thank you for sharing, sweet lady.

  13. Chrissie says:

    Love this story and how she got to be named Gloria 🙂

    • Lynne says:

      Should have included that Jodie told us the New Post Office got built, but around the old tree, which remained in place. That’s why we all need to be a little bit Gloria. Or a lot Gloria.

  14. Larissa says:

    Love this story 🙂

  15. Kara says:

    FAVORITE BLOG POST TO DATE. Your writing/story telling is impeccable. Such a sweet ‘journal entry,’ and I love that its been shared with this community. Thank you!

  16. Mom, you need to cut the sucker (second stem) so little Gloria can focus her hormones on the main stem, or she’ll develop weak branching structure. xoxo

    • Lynne says:

      Oh, golly. Discipline. Okay, I’ll take the clippers up with me this time. Should I put some hay around her for mulch?

  17. stephanieb says:

    Aaacckk!! Pruning??!? I was all mellowed out and weepy, savoring the sweet story of redemption, and then I read, “cut the sucker.” I must admit the birdies and background music in my head screeched to a sudden halt when I read that and the “discipline” in the next comment. Ouch. Hate both of those! I KNOW they’re necessary, but OUCH. Not pleasant.

    And therein lies my problem. 😉 So my personal takeaway is not only the sweet story of redemption and second chances, but also that growth involves cutting away the parts that impede health and further growth–unhealthy habits and such. Am I right?

  18. Carlie says:

    On sait que les poissons d’élevage nagent dans leurs excréments, qu’il faut des tonnes d&rutuo;antibioqiqses et autre produit chimiques pour qu’ils survivent dans cet enfer aquatique. A part ça, noproblemo ! Vive l’aquaculture et bon appétit !

Leave a Comment