Crazy for Trees

Chapter One: Hunger

Hunger is about the beginning, the beginning of my insatiable hunger for gardening. Probably the most autobiographical of the chapters, it tells the stories of a child growing up in Saskatchewan in the 40's and her natural desire to garden. It tells of fathers lost and found and an inheritance never expected.

Young Carolyn

This chapter, too, begins the philosophical discussion of why one enters the avocation of gardener. Mid -life is a strange beast. She gives you a lot of rewards, and begins to take things away. "Ve get too soon ult and too late schmart." It was a comic plaque my mother hung on the cabin wall. In my fifties it has new meaning.

In your fifties you have learned a lot of things. You are at the height of your career, you likely have most of the recognition and professional power you will get, and you probably are at the max of your spending ability.

It feels quite good to be in your fifties. Lots going for it.

Except your parents are often gone, some friends have already left the planet and you. You realize with an awful clarity the finiteness of things.

You can no longer bear children, if you are a woman; and if you are a man, you can no longer do a hundred one-handed push-ups (unless you are Jack Palance). You don’t look like you did when you were twenty (unless you are Raquel Welch) and you don’t feel as well as you did when you were young (unless you were sick when you were young and have found good health now). You get the point. There are some things “not so hot” about the second half of life. “Growing old isn’t for wimps,” says Bette Davis, and she’s right.

But it sure is for gardeners. You just can’t feel old for long in the garden. There simply isn’t time. Even if your arthritis kicks in, there are exercises, and hot tubs, and a place to forget everything except the feel of rich, warm earth, the smell of heirloom sweet peas, the joy of snipping a slug in two with your old sewing scissors and the sigh when you can quit at the end of the day and slip naked into the hot tub.

Gardening is a way of showing that you believe in tomorrow. -Author Unknown



Hailey's Tongue

Sections to Chapter One


Table of Contents

Crossing the Century:

A woman uses her garden to embrace the passage of time.

Onions & Graves:

A child watches her grandmother die and her mother garden.

The Lily:

A child picks a living good-bye.

The Strike:

A young gardener refuses to relinquish her vegetable garden.


A young girl learns the value of a single bloom.

Crazy for Trees:

A young woman discovers a father's grave, and a grandfather's gift.

Dogs and Gardens:

A dog and a garden ease the longing for grandchildren never born.

Gardener | HylaCrazy for Trees What's New?

Crazy for Trees: Synopsis  |  Crazy for Trees: Chapter One  |  Crazy for Trees: Chapter Two  |  Crazy for Trees: Chapter Three  |  Crazy for Trees: Chapter Four  |  Crazy for Trees: Chapter Five  | 

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