About Helicopters

‘Helicopters’ have been part of our garden language since before we had children. But having children meant that they learned our language too. And now it will be passed on to our grandchildren I’m sure!

Helicopters are those fabulous twin wings, the seeds of maple trees that twirl to the ground. We used to open the ends and try to affix them to our noses and see how long they would stay there. Didn’t you?

This week we decided that the farm needs a maple tree. And sure enough, I was attracted to a small Flame maple because it has gorgeous helicopters! I may well curse them in later years, but  I am hoping that our mower will help me deal with that issue. For now, we marvel at the red propellers.

My old flame
I can’t even think of his name
But it’s funny now and then
How my thoughts go flashing back again
To my old flame

A July heatwave is an awkward time to be tree planting. We are having a few cooler days with some cloud cover and cool nights. I am hoping that will set things off to a good start. Yesterday I marked the spot and began digging a hole. At dinner time, DH was lured into the challenge. We made a fine start, but the area is dry, compacted and full of rocks. We visited our neighbor and borrowed a pick axe. We still needed a deeper hole, so soaked it and left it overnight. Worked like a charm! We mixed some of the earth with compost and eventually got everything installed at the right level, watered, staked and even protected the trunk with a tree guard. A pipe was installed so that we could water the roots directly. All the gimmicks are there for a while at least. And the pick axe has been returned.

My old flame
My new lovers all seem so tame
For I haven’t met a gent
So magnificent or elegant
As my old flame

The My Old Flame lyrics by Billie Holiday

We are full of hope for our Acer Flame. Come Fall, the leaves are supposed to turn bright red. We shall see. I expect it may go through some stress, but we will remain vigilant. I have checked on our new maple at least 20 times this afternoon and all is well.

High hopes for our helicopter tree! May he turn into a magnificent and elegant gent.


About fromourisland

Gardener, knitter, wife, mother of 2, grandmother, and lots more.
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3 Responses to About Helicopters

  1. Love love, love this post…. nothing better than maple helecopters stuck to one’s nose. I remember it well. So glad you’ve planted this beauty of a tree Marie.

  2. Sue says:

    I would say you made the perfect choice. What fun it must be to be able to select shade trees. Mine were all selected long before I arrived and although I appreciate the fact that they are large enough to actually provide shade, unlike any I would have planted, none would be trees I would choose.

  3. Joy says:

    Hello there !
    A comment was left about “Flame” leading me to here .. I have Flame and it seems to be doing well even in ths terrible heat/humidity .. today is the first rain day we have had for months , so I am hoping all of the garden and trees are feeling the relief from it too!
    BTW .. it does turn a gorgeous red in Autmn .. but I am not sure what will happen this year since the weather has been such a stressor … fingers crossed !

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