It is a perfect summer day here in Albany. The early morning fog has given way to blue skies. I am sitting in my tiny patch of garden, next to my greek-isle-reminiscent yellow table, reading. My head and back of my neck are being gently caressed by the leaves of my curly willow tree. I have my hand in the soil surrounding the tree, and am enjoying the perfect bit of shade it provides, and am reminded of how I love trees.
A friend gave me two small branches of a curly willow that her neighbor was cutting down. I put them in a bucket and when both branches sprouted hairy roots offered one to my neighbor ,and I placed one in a pot. That was four years ago. Each summer the leaves have returned to the bare branches and this summer it is just perfect. Large enough for me to sit under its branches, and to provide me with shade.
Last weekend I removed a fuchsia plant that has been here for longer than I have, and which has been diseased for that same amount of time. I removed the old woody roots and stems and the leaves with the disease which causes them to curl and wrinkle, and turn from green to spotty yellow with definite strange deformities at their base. I have now put in a lace-leaf Japanese maple, and am hoping that it will grow and flourish like my curly willow, and that I can continue to enjoy this wonderful outdoor spot.