“Yes Sir, I was doing my homework. This plant has the sweetest fragrance in your forest.” “My nursery,” Mr. Reeves corrected her. “And that is a Native Azalea, little girl. Some people call it a wild honeysuckle, but it is in the Rhododendron family. Can you say Rhododendron? “ While the little girl began saying Rhododendron, she then interrupted herself on the second attempt and said, “Sir, I have plants like this in the woods behind my house. But my father won’t buy these for me to plant in our yard near the house.” “Little girl, if you have a ribbon tie it loosely around the stem of the plant about here”, he said showing her “and next fall after school starts again come by and I’ll show you how to dig it up and plant it in your yard”. The little girl thanked him and picked up her homework putting all of it into her satchel. She began skipping the one mile to her home with a smile on her face. She was going to create her own forest.

Footnote: The little girl moved many plants from the forest behind her house to the yard. Her brother lives there today and while the other neighbors have manicured lawns, he has lower heating bills, relaxes in his garden, has taken up bird-watching and enjoys his privacy while living in a convenient suburban location. He likes his forest!

Your Own Forest

By Patricia of Blue Meadows Farm

Once upon a time there lived a little girl who loved to play outside. In spring the woods and creek behind her house were filled with blooming plants. She would sit next to one as she did her schoolwork each nice afternoon. The scent of the flowers relaxed her and she was able to study better. One day while her father was driving she noticed a plant nursery filled with blooming plants. She begged her father to stop to look around. He saw a neighbor’s business across the street and agreed to stop.While he visited with them, he said the little girl could go to the nursery.
​ Bounding out of car the little girl ran into the nursery. Everything was in bloom! It was a spring wonderland!
As she skipped up and down the aisles of plants she saw many like the ones behind her house!  This was her forest. The daddy came to the nursery to pick up his little girl. She told him she really wanted some plants. Mr. Reeves, the nursery owner, came over and asked, “May I help you Sir?” The father replied, “No thank you” and took the little girl’s hand to leave. Mr. Reeves said, “Sir, your little girl loves these plants. Are you sure I cannot help you with one?” “No thank you,” the father said again. Turning to his little girl he said, “We don’t waste money on plants”!  And with that they got in the car to drive home. The little girl was very sad, but watched how they drove from the nursery to the house. I will go back and visit one day going home from school and do my homework at the nursery, she thought. The next chance she had, the little girl walked past her road and continued until she arrived at the nursery. Entering she saw no one so she found the sweetest smelling plant and plopped down on the ground next to it. Pulling out her homework she read her lessons and inhaled deeply the perfume of nature. “Oh,” exclaimed Mr. Reeves, “I didn’t realize you were here.”