The darnedest thing

On Thursday night, there were any number of things I should have been doing, including working in the garden, finishing a freelance project that is overdue, cleaning my apartment or, quite possibly, getting some actual sleep.

So, of course, I invited my friend Betsy over for a celebratory glass of wine on the front porch. I try to keep my job out of this blog, but suffice it to say that the business trip Magnolia blossominvolved a particularly big accomplishment that deserved some toasting, and I was ready to kick back and unwind a little.

We sipped, we talked, we rocked in my big chairs, we waxed philosophical (OK, maybe that’s stretching it a little bit…), and as I was telling a long and involved story about something that seemed very important, I leaned back, looked up into the leaves of the magnolia tree, and stopped mid-sentence.

There, amidst the shiny green foliage, sat a white and purple flower.

It was kind of like seeing the rabbit crossing the highway on the way home from said business trip. I blinked. I chalked it up to a trick of the fading evening light and the fact that I was exhausted. I wondered who had thrown some trash up in my tree.

Lots of blossomsThen I looked closer, and realized it was not trash, after all, but a blossom. And there were more of them. One after another dotted the ends of the branches.

The magnolia tree is blooming.

I went out this morning to take some pictures and ponder the mystery of what happens when you just wait out the rough patches and see what happens on the other side, and as I stood under the tree and looked up, I noticed hard little green buds all over the tree, the same size and shape as the grey ones that dropped off after the freeze.

They may not all turn into blossoms, but there’s an awful lot of potential right out there in my front yard.

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25 Responses to “The darnedest thing”


  1. 1 sandia June 30, 2007 at 11:46 am

    Congratulations. I hope this signals other positive changes for you as well.

  2. 2 Michelle June 30, 2007 at 11:48 am

    Oh Genie! That’s Wonderful! What a little trouper that tree is!

  3. 3 Christina June 30, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    Oh my, reading this and remembering your last post about that tree just made me get teary. Doesn’t the world just teach us over and over again how to live?

  4. 4 inadvertentgardener June 30, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Sandia, that’s what I’m hoping, too. Strange times and good times…sometimes there’s not much separating the two!

    Michelle, I was so very surprised…it definitely is a trouper!

    Christina, it does, doesn’t it? I’ve learned a lot from the natural world ever since I actually tuned into it. Funny how that works…

  5. 5 Katiez June 30, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    You have a very determined tree! I think you should reward it by sitting under it and enjoying a glass of wine. (It would treasure the company…)

  6. 6 onlyconnect June 30, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    Oh my gosh. I am tearing up over here. Yay for nature!

  7. 7 Wendy June 30, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    A lovely post. :) Thank you.

  8. 8 inadvertentgardener June 30, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    Katiez, I plan to do that on at least two or three occasions. I think the tree deserves it!

    Onlyconnect, thanks — glad to have you stopping by. :-)

    Wendy, you’re welcome, and thanks for your visit and comment!

  9. 9 kate June 30, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    That’s what happens when we take time to kick back and enjoy a glass(es) of wine! All sorts of wondrous things appear … I am really happy that the magnolia trees is blossoming. That is so heartening.

  10. 11 inadvertentgardener June 30, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    Kate, it was strangely even more heartening to me than I would have expected. Definitely good stuff.

    Robin, thanks for the cheering!

  11. 12 Ki June 30, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    Some of the Magnolias bloom twice a year. Our ‘Jane’ Magnolia which previously bloomed in the spring has buds now that are almost ready to open. Usually there are not as many flowers in the second blooming but nice anyway. Don’t know if this is the Magnolia’s defense against late frost damage but a good insurance to produce seed and a boon to gardeners. They look to be a very nice variety. Possibly one of the “eight little sisters”, ‘Ann’, ‘Betty’, ‘Jane’, ‘Judy’, ‘Pinkie’, ‘Ricki’, ‘Randy’, and ‘Susan’?

  12. 13 Me June 30, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    a beautiful tribute to hope

  13. 14 inadvertentgardener June 30, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    Ki, that’s interesting information. I’m trying to remember…I think we were lucky if the magnolia in my front yard at my parents’ house ever bloomed even once…so I’m not familiar with the double blooming cycle. But that is good to know.

    Me, thanks — I appreciate the comment and the visit!

  14. 15 Sally July 1, 2007 at 7:48 am

    Well! Ain’t that somthing! I didn’t know that magnolias would bloom a 2nd time either. Lucky for you, huh? Pretty Genie.

  15. 16 Carol July 1, 2007 at 8:32 am

    Yes, there is a lot of potential in most people’s front yards and in their lives as well.

  16. 17 inadvertentgardener July 1, 2007 at 9:48 am

    Sally, definitely lucky for me. :-)

    Carol, absolutely — I wholeheartedly agree.

  17. 18 Annie in Austin July 1, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    Maybe your tree is a smart one and it held some blossoms in reserve for better weather? Our normally spring-blooming Mountain Ash occasionally surprised us with some ‘stashed away’ flowers after a big summer downpour. It seemed to happen when the spring had been too dry.

    I’m so glad you got some magnolia flowers, Genie!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  18. 19 inadvertentgardener July 1, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    Annie, that’s very interesting. You guys have certainly gotten a downpour…that’s for certain! Maybe your Mountain Ash will show some colors this summer. I’m definitely glad for the flowers, no matter what the reason they bloomed. And by today, they’re starting to just dot the tree with blossoms!

  19. 20 Jenny July 2, 2007 at 7:31 am

    It’s amazing how trees can bloom after some really hard times. I know some people like that, too.

  20. 22 cole July 2, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    I agree with Jenny.

    I think the blossoms are the proof that life is beautiful even when it doesn’t turn out the way you think it is supposed to. Be prepared for the unexpected and sometimes that surprise is wonderful.

    xx

  21. 23 inadvertentgardener July 2, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    Cole, thanks to you, too. And yes…I’m totally prepared for the unexpected surprise, and will greatly enjoy it whenever and however it arrives. :-)

  22. 24 Lindak July 3, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    Good things come to those who wait… you have had to wait way too long – but I can see a light at the end of the tunnel – as signified by that beautiful tree’s blossoms :)

  23. 25 inadvertentgardener July 4, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    Thanks, Linda! I appreciate it…and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you’re right. :-)


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