When I moved into the house I'm living in now, it was brand new and the backyard was a huge expanse of bare dirt. It was a few years before we could afford to put anything back there, and when it finally came time to landscape, I researched and worked with my landscape guy and chose trees that suited the clay soil and the warm California climate. Some the professionals planted, and some I bought as tiny babies and planted myself. Now, some 12 years later, most of the trees are very big and it all looks lush and green and the yard is well- screened and shaded. I feel such a connection to the trees out there, as if they are children I've been watching and nurturing. We have a bond.
So in the Sketchbookery class I'm doing with Mary Ann Moss (which is a whole lot of fun, let me tell you), when she suggested doing a plant field study this week, I knew immediately I'd do a page about the trees in the yard. This morning at 7am I was outside in my bathrobe clipping a leaf or two off of each tree, and I sketched and painted while I sipped my morning coffee. I knew the names of the trees but had to look up the latin names ... and learned, along the way, that the Gingko tree is reputed to be one of oldest trees (if not THE oldest tree) on earth. Isn't that amazing and surprising? I would have guessed something more piney.
Anyway, I had a lovely hour of painting and a special bit of time getting acquainted again with my trees.