Give away your garden before you move

The meadow rue came from Dorothy in Baton Rouge. The wild Louisiana iris came from a ditch in that state, along with some inadvertent alligator weed. I imagine the purchaser of our house is still struggling with that invasive. I still remember stopping by the road to pull up those memories, taking a tiny fraction of what was there.

Paul and Nonie gave me the red wild salvia, long before they moved to farm near Corvallis, Oregon. The Virginia creeper came from somewhere near, not in, Brazos Bend State Park. I bought the lovely pickerel weed for the pond. I also bought a coral vine, which spread throughout our small forest. The mosquito fish were originally surreptitiously scooped up from a small pond along the road into the Houston arboretum.

It is one of the rules of real estate that you cannot change anything attached between the time a buyer signs a contract and you actually relinquish the place you slept for decades, unless you specifically list the items to go. But it is all right to do so before, so we gave our fish and little plants to Rick and Therese. We had to, for we filled in the pond, protecting the children we supposed any buyer of our large, basic home would have. Yesterday I visited our plants.

Rick and Therese live on a couple of acres inside the southern city limits of Houston, in the famous green Wareloft. Their pond is many times the size ours was, maybe 20 by 100 feet, or more. They have real leopard frogs, while we had only Gulf Coast toads, trilling into the rainy nights. The pickerel weed and irises are spreading in their lovely pond. The salvia delicately pops up through their forest. The Virginia creeper and coral vine are slowly stretching out among the dying tallows.

Our St. Louis abode welcomed us with daisies in the sunshine, ferns and hostas in the shade, and crape myrtles to remind us of home. When I get back, it is time to plant more lettuce. Then we will figure out where to put our northern pond.

We can’t go back to our Birch Street home, except by going back in time. But it is fun to see the future in our back yard plants and fish, and see photographic updates, like this anole hunting damselflies from Rick.


About Joan E. Strassmann

Evolutionary biologist, studies social behavior in insects & microbes, interested in education, travel, birds, tropics, nature, food; biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis
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One Response to Give away your garden before you move

  1. Visiting your plants, like seeing old friends, I like it. It must have been hard to leave the rest of the plants with their memories behind you.

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