Crazy for Trees

Chapter Three: Surprise, Surprise

You can plan a garden all you want, but it will still surprise you. You aren’t in control of a garden. If you think you are, just wait and you will discover your garden has a life of its own, a space it shares with you on its own terms.


This chapter examines some of my garden’s surprises. Some of those surprises are exquisite bits of drama dropped by heaven into your own back yard

A meadow of Trilliums that appear once the black berries are snipped, yanked, dug out by their terrible tearing tentacles. Some are awful, bone crunching, brain bruises that the garden offers when you aren’t careful enough or when you anger the tree gods. I did that, anger the tree gods. And they bit back. Concussion, major, not a surprise I’d recommend.

Face in a Bird Bath

And then there are the worst kinds of surprises. The human kind. The kind that you can only learn to live with, to mask, to cry over. The neighbour decides to clear cut. Progress puts a noisy generator inches from your bed—after years of careful location search, searching for tranquility. Oh, god, to be able to purchase your piece of land, the one you want, the way you want it, and then the neighbours' land on both sides, just to protect your view, your silence, your beauty. Every gardener’s dream and nightmare.

This chapter is about both dreams and nightmares. And, all the while, it is about laughter, the humour needed to survive the building of a huge garden with only limited talent and finances.

Hidden Frog

It's also about the silliness of a tree crazy woman chasing down the elusive red magnolia, dragging reluctant friends and dogs down forgotten, forbidden roads, only to purchase the wrong tree!

This chapter contains the hidden surprises I like to create with garden art and ornaments, with hidden mirrors, statues, frogs. Frogs, frogs, everywhere. I want visitors to have to notice this garden, to be surprised on the second visit, not only by the new Iris in full bloom, but by the little gray frog hiding under a leaf that they hadn’t noticed before, by a face lost in a sea of geraniums, a mirror concealed in a ceiling, trying to cheat the stingy sun, forcing a trumpet vine to bloom. The garden is a microcosm of life. It gives a little, it takes away. And all the while the garden continues to grow, and so do you.




Sections to Chapter Three

Surprise! Surprise!

Table of Contents

Virgin Beauty:

A woman learns to appreciate the Camellia, first born child.

Wild Thing:

The painful removal of blackberries, alders, alder-berry and stinging nettle results in a field of Trillium.

Free Fall:

The price of sitting naked in a jacuzzi guzzling coke.

Alder Angels:

Hard hatless, a middle aged woman takes on a forest and loses.

Chipping Away at Paradise:

Human progress forces the death of beauty and invites the birth of opportunity.

Rubra Rustica:

A woman learns that, in a garden, you should not want anything too much. Unless you are prepared to wait, to try again, to never give up. Or simply to accept the fate of the gods.

Hide and Seek:

A frog dies and a theme is 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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