A fluffy pinkness

I would tell you that I am not a massive pink fan, I would tell you that I do not wear a lot of pink (this is a lie, I recently bought a bright pink suit), I would tell you that I do not grow a lot of pink flowering plants (this is a downright lie, just look at the amount of pink roses I grow never mind the other pink flowers), so when I want to start this post by saying, I am not usually a fan of pink I know I need to slap myself hard and face up to the fact:  I like pink.

Enter Salix gracilistyla Mount Aso, stage left.  I became aware of this pretty, largeish for a garden but not large compared to many willow trees, salix a few years ago.  I saw one, I wanted one and of course, I bought one.  I planted it in the pond border, I looked after it, I watered it and..... after a couple of years where at best I would say it limped along,  it finally upped and died.  I wrote about my love of willows a couple of years ago and in there I mention she was not doing great.  I reckon that might have been the last straw for her as she did not last much longer.   I should just mention I talk about my Salix Kilmarnock that I had at that time, sadly she did not make it through this year's drought despite me trying to keep her watered.  Oh well.

Anyhoo, back to Salix Mount Aso.  So I bought my first one in 2018 and by 2021 it was dead.  I was sorry about this but was not sure at first whether I was going to replace her.  I try not to throw good money after bad so once bitten, twice shy etc etc (insert more platitudes as you wish..).  Then last year I saw one on offer.  It was from an online seller I buy from every now and again, they have those offers that are hard to refuse and I try and refuse them most of the time.  This time yhey had another tree that had also caught my eye and then I get into that 'well the postage is the same no matter if I buy something else so I might as well fill the box' moment.

The Mount Salix duly arrived and it was already a larger plant than I had previously bought.  I hoped this meant it might be more robust.  I decided I would keep it in a pot for now and put it in the Courtyard Garden, the container planting area between the conservatory and the outside cludgy that is shady and dark and so not a courtyard in any way shape or form.  I kept her watered well throughout all of the dry summer and she kept her leaves and looked ok.  Then suddenly in the last couple of weeks her pink fluffy catkins have started to emerge.  I cannot tell you how happy this makes me.

and then we had a rainy Saturday, the rain was pouring down.  I was going about my usual morning duties, by which I mean until the cats have had breakfast nothing (and I mean nothing) else is possible.  I was wandering between the kitchen and the utility room, (by which I mean the space beyond the back door that is the home to the outside cludgy and what was the coal hole.)  Last year I had a new outer door fitted to the utility room and also had a new window put in.  There was a window there previously and it was rotting gently to itself and also was covered with a rather unpleasant net curtain.  I never removed the net curtain despite not liking it (I did wash it a couple of times - promise) but it had to come down for the new window to be installed.  Suddenly I am looking out of this window, suddenly I am thinking why was there a net cutrain on this window anyway when it does not face anywhere where people would look through it.  I thought about maybe buying some of those stained glass look-alikey decals to put over it, but then I thought again 'what is the point when no one can wander by and see through this window?'  Now nearly a year on the window is still uncovered and I use it often to gaze out over the Courtyard and a glimpse of the garden beyond.  On this particular rainy Saturday I paused briefly to look out over the garden, smiling to myself how lovely having this window is and why did I not think of removing the net curtain years ago when the Salix Mount Aso caught my eye.  Even through the raindropped, tear-streaked window I could see the fluffy pinkness waggling in the breeze.  I stopped.  I moved closer to the window.  I looked and I looked.  It was a perfect moment of two good things coming together: a window to look out on the garden giving me a new perspective and the joyous pink fluffiness of this willow.

I went back in the kitchen and put the kettle on.  Rain can rain, I have stuff to do and I shall return and look at the willow again once I have had a cup of tea and pondered whether to try again with a Salix Kilmarnock......

Take care and be kind.

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  1. She’s a beauty! (And yes, of course you have to try again!) Did she have company in the delivery box or not in the end?


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