Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Yellow Anise

There are places in our yard where Cheryl has never been, not because the yard is so big, but because it is, in a few places, overgrown and dark and long-since surrendered to the whims of nature, with twisted vines, rotting tree trunks, whispering leaves and sad amphibians who may have evolved into a new species after generations in the never light.

Our idea is to introduce yellow anise (Illicium parviflorum) as a border shrub to screen the neighbor's garage and guest house, now hidden by the dark wilderness. If it works, we can reclaim this part of the yard--bring it back into the real world.

And yet, as I looked at the pretty and sweet smelling shrubs, a sense of guilt came over me. Sure, these plants love the shade, but what could possibly live in that dank overgrowth other than a few desperate ferns, would-be saplings and some psychotic squirrels?

I planted seven of them yesterday--three more to go. For each hole I had to cut through a maze of roots and knotted undergrowth, an inch at a time; I have a sharp-edged cutter just for this purpose (reminding myself not to get my foot in the way). Sweat and dirt, nasty shadow bugs warning me to leave. Ha.

And I still need to run water lines to give them a chance to establish. After that, may the gods have mercy on them...

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