During our romantic phase of house hunting, my husband and I both agreed on a few things. We wanted an older home with some character and a decent yard with mature trees. Of course there was a laundry list of other things, but those first two sum up how we came to settle in our house.
Now one could argue, five and a half years out, that around here character has certainly come to mean, cracks in the walls, random wear and tear, and all sorts of surprises when things need to be replaced. Fifty years later, things are done much differently. For example, gas water heaters for crawl spaces were phased out a decade ago. Gulp. So glad ours wasn't one of the reasons why they were recalled off the market, apparently they were very volatile. We were fortunate enough to just have a slow leak, due to rust. Very typical for water heaters.
Let's talk about mature trees. Or more importantly very mature Cottonwood Trees. This particular tree of ours, is quite large. It shades pretty darn close to my entire back yard. Which while having a garden, is a bit of a burden. I have cursed the tree many times, but just can't bring myself to spend thousands of dollars to kill a tree. I just can't do it. It feels wrong, so instead, we deal with the monstrosity.
Every fall that means, approximately, and this is not an exaggeration about 50 large black trash bags of leaves, filled to the brim. Each bag stretches out with leaves and small branches, all hand raked and picked up by J, me, or my parents if they are visiting at that ill-fated time. Funny enough, lately their trips have been late summer and winter, now I see that is not a coincidence.
Depending on the type of winter we had, every year, during June, our dear friend the cottonwood, BLOWS COTTON. I don't mean, oh some little dandelion type whispy cotton flying through the air. I mean, up to your knees in cotton, sticks to you like no other cotton.
And to top it off, it's now become the don't leave your house to play in your yard that the children adore because there is so much particulate matter in the air, cotton. Or everyone will be coughing, sneezing, and rubbing their eyes all night long, cotton.
I may be so bold to say, the cotton may have stopped flying. But now there are little hardened pod shells covering the ground. Landing in my fragile garden. Literally covering every square inch, of our outdoor space. It's truly amazing. Amazing in an overwhelming way.
All from one romantic notion of how wonderful mature trees in a backyard can be.
Please enjoy the photographic evidence, btw this is my front yard, the Cottonwood Tree is in the backyard: