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Gardening in America
Replacing the Junipers

Glad to be back here at the lust for living and sharing in this summer of 2010 after a wonderful visit with a long lost family member of the Holt, (Holts early on Scots?)  Esterly family.  For now,  the sweet continuum of constant little chores are once again upon us.
I had a kind of  moment yesterday, with the hiring of a  man to cut out the Junipers I've worried with for 30 years.
They were so loaded with those bag worms this year, even after we severely trimmed them back last year.  The sneaky little things had learned to hide in places where they couldn't be seen, and the resulting egg cases produced masses of little bag worms, which would surely soon voraciously eat the whole tree. 
"I'm tired of these things,"  I told my husband. I have hired a man to cut them out, which he did in just a few minutes.  He was a skilled woodsman and zip they were out. 
As we burned them last night I was having a bit of regret and bemoaned my loss, although the space was no longer just a burned out Wheatfield where only Junipers would grow.
"You've struggled with those things for 30 years.  I think it's time you gave  up."  My husband was not emotionally attached to any Juniper.
The bon fire was pungent with the smoke of their demise.  I rested in my chair and remember the year they were planted, when my children were small.  My thoughts went to the times the kids ran and played beneath their branches.  Those were the years  I and ours lived in a time of sweet anticipation, and in my ignorance had no knowledge of the world that has come to be.  All I knew was how my husband and I had married and enjoyed our children with a sure expectation for the same smooth transition into adulthood our children would have. 
As the moods of a sometimes dark world pushed upon me, of divorce and disappointment I went to the Junipers and corrected the problems the trees had, simply because it was a task that could be accomplished.  As the wind swished through their branches there seemed to be a meditation prayer reaching up to a Higher Power and that was soothing, too.  True the grandchildren too have enjoyed playing under them, but they are ready now for helping me with the beds of Rosemary, Thyme, Basil and Sage that can  grow in the beds I've built from the larger branches of the Junipers around their stumps.
All is not that sad.  I can look out across the length of the yard to easily see the road now.  The open space on our hillside is well drained and flooded with sunlight, perfect for beds.
My older grandchildren are thrilled with that possibility as we now go about gathering the sage, grape leaves, strawberry leaves, blackberry leaves, rose hips,  and wonderful chocolate mint growing in mass, and then, storing them in the newly arranged drying shed.
Cold winter days will find us curled in a comfy arm chair, sipping tea and watching either cooking channels,  history channel or the science channel.  Last year when I picked up mint tea at the store it was 4.00 a box, actually too pricey to use very often.  We will have tea this winter.

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