I like to plant trees around the place that have personal meanings to me. The Amelanchier is one of the first trees I planted here. Years ago, when I lived in the Midlands, and had a 'proper' job, life was busy and a lot of things were not perfect. But the weekends at that time in my life I remember as halcyon days. I would go to archery and spend the morning shooting with a good friend, and afterwards I would drive to my grandparents' house and eat a lovely meal my grandmother had cooked. My grandfather would usually be in his garden, either gardening or polishing his green Volvo. The garden was very beautiful because they put a great deal of work into it, and in it was an Amelanchier that had pale flowers on it in the spring, and on a sunny autumn day the leaves were bright red against the cerulean sky when you stood under it.
Time went on, and my grandfather's health declined so they sold the house to move elsewhere. My grandfather struggled with Parkinson's disease before the end. It took from him his ability to drive his Volvo, his ability to enjoy his garden, and finally when there was nothing left it took him as well. I like to think of my Grandad the way I knew him before he was ill, in his garden at their house. There is in fact a picture of him on Google Earth, captured from the road, standing next to his Volvo and tending to the lawn. I'm glad there's a little piece of the life he lived preserved there. Although change is inevitable, and we can never go back, when the Amelanchier flowers, the memories return.
My history with magnolias isn't quite so poignant, but there was already a magnificent magnolia here before we moved in.
I have two new collar colours for spring, made from cream leather and with a magnolia (pink stitching) and amelanchier (burgundy stitching) theme.