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Report From PIA – February 8

I walked around Poison Ivy Acres today, looking at the shrubs and trees we’ve planted over the past two years. Many of them are small, and show only a hint of what they will grow to be in the next five or ten years. Their beauty is possible, but not yet in existence.

There are shrubs in the yard that are already budded, waiting for longer or warmer days so that they may come into bloom. I looked at my witch hazel which flowers in late-February, and the Pieris that blossoms in March and April, and appreciated that they hold such promise.

Later this afternoon I put in my seed order from Johnny’s, knowing that the packets I’ll soon receive hold such prospective joy and satisfaction. I try to have that same attitude when I think of the talks and writing that I’m working on that are so far from being finished.

I remind myself that it’s very satisfying to see potential, be it in our plants, a project we’re working on, or in a child. Yes, we all like instant gratification and quick rewards, but allowing ourselves to savor a process, knowing that things are likely grow, is a real gift. There is something wonderful about the inherent capacity for coming into being.

It's a good thing that I don't have neighbors right next door, because they would laugh as I go outside in the mornings in a bathrobe, with my camera. The morning light is magical, however, and I get to capture the ice on the lake beginning to thaw. There are the patterns made by the night's cold temperatures, very thin and temporary on top of the potential of the spring thaw.

I've bad-mouthed Pieris for years because it gets lace bug, but now I appreciate those reddish buds all winter, and fragrant white flowers in the spring, so I guess it's worth a couple of applications of horticultural oil to keep the bugs in check.

I'm sure that once the Irish yews fatten out, the neighboring Green Giant Arborviates grow, and I get some low plants established around them, that this will be a nice section of the yard. Right now, however, the yews look like Moe, Larry and Curly.

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