We met Elinor a few years ago at the lodge down by Lake Gregory where often on Tuesday we go at noon for a meal served to adults of senior age. She is charming, spunky, beautiful, and 85 years old. During one of our noonday conversations, as we talked of gardening and plants, she indicated she had a dogwood tree seedling.
“Would we like to have it? Did we have a sunny spot?” she asked.
A few days ago Nathaniel had prepared a hole on our back bank in which to plant the little tree, so we were ready. This morning we drove to Elinor’s place, following the perfect map she had drawn. Jerry was outfitted with gardener’s gloves, a bucket and a hefty shovel.
First, before we tackled the transplant, Elinor showed us about her place. Flashing her majestic smile, she stood behind her glorious rhododendrons for my first photo of the day.
Both the rhododendrons and the dogwoods are past their prime for the season, but the light was so beautiful on this branch, I snapped a shot anyway. Our seedling is from this mother tree which Elinor planted 40 years ago. She has lived in this same place for 47 years. Amazing.
As Jerry prepared to dig up the little plant, she kindly pushed him aside, saying, “Let the old woman do it.” Jerry stepped back a bit, and as they both bent back and forth, scraped, and scooped, the little fella was soon in the bucket and placed in the back of our Jeep.
Late this afternoon, Jerry maneuvered our rather steep back bank and settled the two-year-old dogwood tree into its prepared place. Sets now on Buxton property. One day it may reach a height of 40 feet, and perhaps there will be someone around who will say, “Yeah, Jerry Buxton–remember him?–he planted this great tree.”
I had the ingredients I needed, so early this morning, I baked four loaves of banana bread. I took one to Elinor, still warm from the oven, along with a small note thanking her for her friendship.
A fine day? Yes, rather a fine one.