It was only a few years ago that our 27 year old American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) began to display its imperfect dioecious flowers, male and female separate on the same tree, and produce beechnuts. The pendant, globose flowers at the bottom of the twig are male; the single reddish bump at the end the female, ready to receive pollen and bear her fruit. I never tire of this beautiful tree in all its seasons.
This older beech dominates the west garden between us and the road; a younger specimen, planted for my 50th birthday 17 years ago, is making her presence felt in the east meadow, gradually straightening herself on the slope where she’s planted. She’s all leaves still, yet to give forth her flowers.
This is the first year we’ve really managed this area as a natural meadow since its decline as a hay field over the years as the invasive native yellow wingstem (Verbesina alternifolia) made her way in. John cut it with the Gravely in late winter and we’ve cut a path along the creek since. Have seen the lyre-cup sage blooming. I like walking along between creek and meadow.
As I age along with our landscape I pay more attention to the bones and have less time and interest in weeding and tending perennials. I like to prune the trees and shrubs and fill large spaces with Siberian iris, Aster tartaricum, and sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium).
As we tend the land around us we learn more about ourselves.