When we moved into our home, we met our neighbor Ed soon enough. In his eighties, he was a tall and handsome fellow with dark silver-streaked hair and a moustache, and a life history involving submarines and gardening and a whole host of other adventures through which we travel. My husband, Jim, and Ed became acquainted quite readily — their shared military life a common ground. On occasion they shared a beer in a garage Jim admired for its size twice that of the one he inherited moving here. Never mind the Northwest shop Jim owns that is packed with other auto treasures — a car aficionado remains a car aficionado no matter what part of the continent on which they reside.
Ed kept a beautiful garden, at least by my standards. In fact, I know his garden was featured for its sculptured plants in a time when I was just a little girl. He showed me the newspaper clippings that only a garden lover would envy.
One warm summer day, Ed mentioned to Jim that the orange tree laying nestled beneath a pecan tree needed to be removed. Jim, who hates the idea of any tree, let alone a citrus tree, getting dismantled, contacted me immediately insisting that it was essential we move the tree — Ed’s tree, we soon called it — to our yard. This was August, mind you. The worst time to move a living thing, but save a plant we must. I admit, I am not one to deny my husband.
So, there we are, in August. Our hired gardener came with shovel and a determined spirit and transplated Ed’s tree to our yard. It had to be at least 80 plus degrees, let’s consider 90. We were hot. The poor gardener even hotter. We had the requisite compost and soil in which to surround the roots. Other than that, we found ourselves feeling tremendous guilt as we watched the gardener dig in god-awful clay soil on a terribly hot day.
So, three years later, stands Ed’s tree. A dwarf variety that is thriving despite the conditions in which it was moved. It has combated unrest, leaf minor, and has thrived despite this and other nuances in a new place. We are proud. We have been blessed with at least ten pickings of seedless, mouthwatering citrus this season alone with a promise for more.
Jim is beside himself. Citrus is heaven. Citrus for the picking even more so. We still call the tree Ed’s tree. It is one of Ed’s legacies. He passed away a few years back. I wonder if he realizes what he gave us. Thank you, Ed.
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