Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fall Tree Planting (for us, our grandparents, and our children)

A freshly transplanted apricot tree

Yulia and I did some transplanting today. For the past week or so we have been digging up plants from the grandparents' house and, in the case of the sea buckthorn, digging up some wild saplings by Lviv International Airport. We also purchased several plants at the annual fall gardening festival in Lviv.

This is what we planted today:

4 Early Sea Buckthorns
4 Late Sea Buckthorns
2 Male Sea Buckthorns
9 Hazelnuts
2 Walnuts
5 Chestnuts
7 Pine
1 Fir
2 Cornell Cherries
1 Plum
2 Mulberries
2 Cherry Plums
1 Kiwi
1 Apricot
1 Hibiscus
1 Wisteria
3 Cedars

48 Trees, bushes, and flowers planted today!

...And that is by no means everything. We will still be doing some transplanting tomorrow.

We really enjoyed transplanting today because it gave us a chance to do some landscape design. The trees and bushes we planted will really give our property some form once they start to mature and get big. Yulia had the brilliant idea of planting the wisteria by a gate. Wisterias are vines, and we will train this one to cover an arched gateway in our garden. It'll look beautiful. ...And the fragrance! Imagine walking through a gateway with hanging wisteria flowers caressing you as you pass by. Heavenly!

And we can't wait for the harvest. Just look at these sea buckthorn berries we snipped off the wild trees growing by the airport! We'll have quite the abundance of fruit once these trees mature.

We planted three cedar trees today. They are wee little seedlings right now. They will take several decades to fully mature. Maybe Yulia and I won't live to see it, but they will eventually start making cones. The seeds from these cones can be eaten whole or pressed into oil. Have you ever tried cedar oil? It is delicious and especially good for you. They can also be sold for a handsome price. Maybe our children will one day reap the rewards of these majestic trees.

Probably the most important thing we did today was plant a few trees for my deceased grandmothers and grandfather. Today happened to be my grandmother's birthday. She would have been 91 years old.

Right before Yulia and I left for Ukraine, we took some soil from the grave sites of each of my grandparents. Not much, about a hand full or two. We promised them we would use that soil to plant a tree in their honor once we found a place to live for ourselves. They were all born in Ukraine and were forced to leave their homes during World War Two. We thought that we could at least take some soil from their final resting place and return it to their homeland.

They had difficult lives. My grandmother's house was purposefully burned down. Her family had several horses that the loved very much. Tragically, her father died from burn wounds rescuing the horses. She would always break down in tears telling me and my sister that story. I am now doing the same as I retell it.

I can only hope to aspire to be as good as my grandparents. They set a good example. When I feel overwhelmed with how hard life is, I think of them. The least I can do is to try and leave this a better place than it was when I got here. They deserve that.

Two алича's "cherry plums" (they are the only plants with green leaves in the picture) for my lovely grandmother and grandfather.

The mulberry for my darling grandmother.


  1. Thank you for such an informative "blog"
    A very nice tribute to your Grandparents. Keep the articles coming we enjoy reading them.

  2. Thanks for the nice words.
    We'll be sure to keep 'em coming! :)

  3. Growing your own fruit ranks pretty highly in the satisfaction stake. Planting a fruit tree is easy and the results rewarding. Look at this web-site