Composing this article between Memorial Day and Father’s Day holidays raises many fond personal emotions for me. While my Grandpa Dennis was living, we always shared our birthday celebrations on Memorial Day with the planting of a tree on his northwest Ohio farm.
With his being born on May 31, 1900, it was always easy to remember how old my grandfather was! He was the true embodiment of the adage, “Wise is the man who plants a tree under whose shade he will never sit.” I think we planted scores of trees over the years.
My dad planted a sugar maple tree in front of the elementary school both he and I attended in our home town of Edgerton, a tree that became an iconic landscape feature under which many a student studied, daydreamed and relaxed in the coolness of its shade. I am thankful for what my father and grandfather instilled in me in respect of nature, trees, plants and wildlife.
During this time of the year when we honor our fathers, I hope you find inspiration in the stories of my family to possibly begin a tradition within yours by planting trees to honor your father and grandfathers. Consider giving forward to a healthier and greener future with a tradition of gifting and planting trees. This rather simple act can bring generations together and create lifelong memories.
By the way, northwest Ohio was known for the Edgerton Bulldogs whose school colors were maroon and white. So it would come as no surprise that some of my favorite garden plants are ‘marooned magnificents.” Some of those trees and shrubs that you may find in the landscapes of El Dorado Hills are the Smoke Tree (Cotinus coggygria), Japanese Red Maple (Acer palmatum atropurpureum), and Red-leaf Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii atropurpureum).
Happy Father’s Day and Happy Gardening!