One spring morning in 1967, MamMaw loved on her sweet baby granddaughter, Betsy (my sister). Mamma and Daddy had just built their very own house. Mamma wanted a piece of the old home place for their new and beautiful ranch-style home. Off Mamma and Granddaddy tromped up the hill armed with a shovel and bucket for a redbud tree. Before they started to dig, Granddaddy reminded Mamma to mark the north side of the little tree so as to assure a proper transplant. When transplanting native trees, especially from the woods, it is important that it faces the same direction at its new home. This will help protect any thin bark from intense sun exposure, while acclimating to its new environment. I have heard this story all my life.
I have an old redbud tree in my back yard. A long time ago, I planted wisteria at its base in hopes of keeping the tree upright. Now, I know that wisteria is known for sucking the life out of other plants around it. For whatever reason, my young, naive mind thought this was a good idea that spring afternoon. Not only is the tree still standing with a beautiful spring accessory of wisteria, but it has volunteered many babies in my yard. I have let one baby mature in the front of the house, in hopes of transplanting.
It will be four years tomorrow that MawMaw died and left the old home place to Mamma. We all miss MawMaw and Granddaddy dearly! At the same time, it has been fun watching Mamma reconnect with her roots and sharing them with Daddy. He too is a part of its history. They are like peas and carrots on that old hill. Yesterday, they came to dig up my redbud seedling in the front of the house. Its roots had gotten so strong; it took both Daddy and Pank to dig it up. Of course, not before Mamma marked the north side of the tree. They put it in the back of Granddaddy’s old pick up and off they went. They transplanted it on their new place on that old hill.
It tickles me to share new AND old traditions with Pank! Someday, a long time from now, he and I will look at that old redbud on the hill with longing and fun memories. We will remember the day Mamma marked the north side.
I hope this story has inspired you to begin spring planting. While it is way too soon to be thinking about tomatoes and peppers, it is definitely time to plant leafy greens, peas, potatoes, asparagus and a host of other early spring vegetables. Meanwhile, you can start planning your summer beds while sipping on a glass of Muscadine.