This was my Weeping Cherry Tree. Somewhere in my 20’s I decided I wanted a Weeping Cherry Tree. When I moved into the first house I owned (with my husband) when I was 28, I knew I would have one. But I did not. That was Missouri, and landscaping is somewhat optional there. Most people have bushes and maybe a focal garden, but it is not required. If desired (or if it is all that one can afford), home owners just throw out some grass seeds and let that be their landscaping. I wanted my cherry tree in the back yard, and the entire time I lived there, I never landscaped the back other than herb and rose gardens against the house (and grass seeds everywhere else).

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

So we moved to New Mexico.  Landscaping in New Mexico does not involve throwing out grass seed. In fact, that would not grow. If one wants grass, s/he gets sod. And waters it… a lot. And one does not get that MUCH sod, because a lot of grass is not looked upon favorably in these parts due to the lack-of-water problem that living in a desert presents.  This means that people actually have to think about landscaping. But in new housing, although the front yards are usually done very nicely (with no grass a lot of the time), the back yards are left as sand pits. (Which is great for cats and kids.)

So when we moved here, I immediately decided it was time for the cherry tree. I had seen them dozens of feet tall in the East, and I needed one more than ever. I knew mine would  not get that big, but I needed it anyway. So when I saw it at the nursery, it was a necessity. (An expensive necessity.)

2008-04-06close-goldenlightSo I planted it, and put root stimulator on it, and watered it. I thought I would lose it the first year, but I did not. It always had pretty blooms, but it was never spectacular. Often it bloomed at exactly the time of year I went to Missouri, so I missed the best shows. But last year, my daughter was in school, so we decided to wait until summer to go to Missouri, and WHAT a show we got! It was the best of blooming I had seen (its 5th year with me). I took pictures of it, made cards from pictures, sent pictures to my friends and family in Missouri. It was so beautiful I could hardly stand it.

2008-04-06close-endofbranchThen the blooms faded and the leaves started to come out. But they never came out all the way. My beautiful tree died. After its most spectacular blooming season ever, it died before the leaves fully came on. It was a quick death, but how unhappy it made me. I have no idea what happened, but a honeysuckle on the other side of the wall that separates my yard from my neighbor’s yard (about 6 feet away) seemed to die as well. (It has come back pretty strong, and it never lost all of its foliage, but it had a rough summer last year.)

So this year there is no cherry tree, and as I see the pictures from last year, it makes me very sad.  Because they are so difficult to grow here (I have known others that lost theirs the first year), I am not sure I should make another (expensive) attempt at growing one. So for now, there is nothing there.

The stones are where the tree used to be.

The stones are where the tree used to be.

This summer, the flower bed will be bursting with sunflowers and cosmos, but right now, I wish for that Weeping Cherry!

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