Friday, April 11, 2014

Mourning My Aspen


When we first moved into our house, nine years ago, the backyard had no landscaping.  The builders had done simple landscaping out front, but the backyard was up to the homeowner.  Even so, I can remember dragging a chair out back and sitting in the dirt.  It was just so darn exciting to HAVE a backyard.  Something I'd never once had in my adult life.  Took me till my mid forties, but I finally had one.  My throat still clenches at the thought.  

Even though the landscaping company tried to talk me out of it, we decided on Aspens, because I adore Aspens.  They told me it was hit or miss in our part of the state.  Even at 6200' elevation, the Aspens really prefer to be higher.  And who can blame them?  So do I.  Everything I read suggested other trees, but I stood stubborn.

So began the tale of My Tiny Garden.  You can go there and read all the posts and see some glimpses of the Aspen.  The leaves still adorn the top of this blog, and probably always will.  There is just something so quintessentially Colorado about Aspen.  This Native feels as though they are part of me.

We had three "clumps" planted.  And I thought I had beat the lower elevation odds.  They seemed to thrive, growing several feet each year.  Two of the clumps really took off and as you can see from this photo, are now taller than our second story.  But each year it also seemed that maybe one trunk would start to fail.  After the hail storm in 2012, they really looked bad.

So.

They are going.  We hired a company that is going to cut down and then grind the stumps of all but one lone survivor on the side of the house.  They are to be replaced with a evergreen on the north side and a pear tree in the spot from this photo.  They say it will blossom in the spring and reward me with beautiful color in the fall.

But I'm quite certain some small quaking Aspen will find their way here and there, wherever I can find an empty spot. And I think this just means more trips to the hills so I can lay on a blanket and look at the sun filtered through Aspen leaves.

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