It’s about 30 years ago that, after living in a neighbouring province, a 15 hour drive away, my wife and I decided to move back to where we are now. Canada is a big place when you move, even just a couple of Province’s away, and we found the 15 hour drive just too far away from family.
So one Easter weekend, we did a quick trip back, looked at 22 houses, didn’t find a one we liked, then on the very last hour of the third day, our realtor showed us one he didn’t think we’d like too much. However, maybe it was desperation setting in, but it actually was pretty decent. Not the ideal place, but way better than the other 22!
We had two choice’s & one wasn’t great!
I was starting a new job in a month, so we either bought a house that weekend or we were going to have to find a rental apartment, as 30 days later we, along with three kids under three (yes twins!) were arriving.
We bought the house!
The Reality of Landscaping.
Though the house was three years old, the previous owners’ a young couple who both worked, obviously weren’t yard people, and apart from putting a lawn in, had done nothing to beautify it at all. The house was in a treed area of our little town, and the builder had wisely left a smattering of native poplar trees in the back yard, but the front yard was pretty barren.
We didn’t have a lot of money back then, and had decided to not rush into buying a bunch of additions for our yard, as with our harsh climate it can be difficult to get newly planted trees to winter over and establish themselves. However, on the many evening walks with the kids we’d admire the beautiful Weeping Birch trees that were being grown in the more established yards.
Our splurge the first year was buying a 5 ft, two-year old Weeping Birch! And I remember it costing $50.00! Remember, this was 30 years ago, so fifty bucks was a pile of money for a young couple! Enough even that I recall our neighbour, an engineer who had a way better paying job than me, saying he wished he could afford to plant birch trees!
One thing about buying something that’s expensive and fragile, is you learn to do the right thing with it and really give it a lot of care and attention. Of course the tree nursery we’d bought the Birch from was great with tips and planting instructions, but this was $50! That would have bought a TON of diapers! I knew that this sucker better live, as we weren’t going to buy another!
Nothing but a Stick & a Rootball
When I think of what we bought home, and so lovingly planted, really was nothing but a stick with a rootball attached. However if the instructions said dig a hole 2′ wide it got jug 4′, if it said apply a cup of bone meal in the hole, it got two cups, when it said water it every 3-4 days, if got watered every evening. However for the longest time it looked like I was watering a stick, as it took forever to establish.
30 years and thirty feet!
Fast Forward thirty years, and we have a beautiful and gracious old Weeping Birch gracing our front yard, providing wonderful shade from its 30ft height. In fact it’s become so tall that we had to purchase a Black & Decker LPP120 20-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Pole Saw to keep it looking good.