But it means something to me


Iím in the middle of a project. Involves what I suppose you could sum up as a combination of yardwork, gardening, memories and, likely the most important of all, recovery efforts.

All of which is simply a fancy list of thoughts to say Iím moving a few hosta plants around. And, as with most things I set off to attempt, Iím approaching it from a strange point of view and there is a story.

The project itself is fairly basic. Iíve got some hosta, deer are eating it, and I want to move some so it has a chance to recover. Iím not looking for immediate results. Just replant, let this season play out, and then hopefully next year be rewarded with growing plants. In two or three years, take those plants out into the yard. (And sure, likely be disappointed as the deer enjoy the buffet without leaving so much as a thank you card. Start again. Repeat.)

Since deer and other assorted visitors to the yard are part of the problem, I came upon a few thoughts that essentially eliminated just a simple moving of plants from one spot to another. I decided to set up some planters in a spot where the deer donít wander around.

So, here we are, with me setting up some deck boxes. Small holes in the bottom, with a layer or crushed rock to assist with drainage. Decent soil added. All set for heading out, digging up the hosta, replanting it and finishing step one of the process.

Hereís the storyÖ

Just over twenty years ago, Terry and I bought our first house. Lots of trees. Nice yard, with a fence around the back it so the dogs could run around and be outside. Lady and Travis loved it.

One thing they loved in particular was some hosta growing against the garage. It was an absolutely wonderful place for taking a nap. So wonderful, the plants were quickly getting worn down.

Nana had hosta along the front of her house, if we meander for a moment back to my childhood. From those days at my grandmotherís until we bought ours, I really donít remember seeing it often. (Though, as we all know, hosta is a fairly common landscaping presence.) But in my mind, this hosta in our yard was already special because it connected to my memories of my youth.

Terry and I decided to save the hosta, and dug up a good portion of it. We replanted it in several spots around the house, places where the dogs didnít nap, and it flourished. (All while maintaining a presence in the backyard that would arrive early in the spring, provide a few weeks of great slumbers, and then more or less be gone while the rest of our hosta thrived and flowered.)

We moved about ten years ago, and brought some of our plants with us. That included several batches of the hosta. Over time, some of that hosta was brought to our sonsí houses. (Side note, turns out some of it continues to provide great napping spots for two dogs.)

The hosta in my yard wasnít purchased and planted a few weeks ago. It is literally part of an intricate and long web of memories and meaning. It connects Terry and I. It joins the early days of our lives together with today. It maps a journey of a lifetime, tracing this house back to our first. All four of our dogs are intertwined with the stories of the hosta in my front yard. And those stories are expanding to new properties and the wave of dogs in our families.

Our family tree, parents to children (and eventually, grandchildren), is united to the same hosta. Three couples, four houses, three states, and ten dogs.

Quite a run.

And so, while I am fine with the deer enjoying a snack, I will do what I can to preserve the hosta and grow the plants back to a large presence at my house. Might take a summer or two (or more). Eventually could add some new properties (and more dogs) to the history.

A history that means something to me.


If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com