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Celebration takes root with planting of palm

By GEORGI DAVIS
Published March 20, 2005


Since this is Palm Sunday, I decided that I should write an article on that subject. I know that equating palms with religion is no longer politically correct, so I'll approach it from a different angle.

In honor of this occasion, I decided to replace my three-headed yucca in my back yard with a queen palm. Queen palms are softer and blow in the breeze.

My first obstacle was to get the yucca out of its hole. Since it had only been there several months, I decided that taking it out would not be a major problem. I was right on one account: It had not even rooted. Pulling it out, however, was somewhat of a major job since it was quite heavy.

Fortunately for me, a well-meaning neighbor happened by and helped lift it out of its resting place. I thanked the neighbor and thought about problem No. 2: I needed to transport the new tree from the local nursery to my home.

Since I am cheap - or is that frugal? - I didn't want to pay them to do it. The solution I came up with was to take my little Miata convertible to the nursery, put the top down and place it in the passenger side of the car.

The man at the nursery kind of laughed at me, but we got the 8-foot palm in the car. Away I went down U.S. 19 driving slowly so the palm would not get windburned.

I was really leery that I might be arrested for transporting a tree on a highway. This didn't happen, but I did get some funny looks as I drove.

Problem No. 3 was getting the palm from my car to the back yard. It was much lighter than I had imagined, and this was not a big deal. However, I did hear my neighbor across the street say, "Now what is she doing?"

I ignored the remark and took the palm to the back yard. I enlarged the hole and filled it with several bags of topsoil. Then I watered the hole. Someone yelled, "You don't have to take the tree out to water it!" I laughed and went on about my task.

Problem No. 4 arose when I discovered I couldn't get the tree out of the plastic container. I laid the palm down and gently stepped on the container. This didn't work. I then threw the palm down. It was still stuck.

I decided to do it the easy way, so I went into my house and came back with a pair of scissors. I cut the container from around the roots of the tree. This worked like a charm. I placed the palm in the hole and checked to be sure it was straight. I then placed more topsoil in the hole and covered the rest with native soil (according to instructions).

I was really proud of my handiwork. Just as I was about to take my shovel and other various tools back to my shed, I heard a loud round of applause from the clubhouse deck, which is not far from my back yard. I looked up to see a hoard of poker players on the deck. (Please note I used the word hoard, not herd.)

They were taking a break from their game. I bowed graciously and then stood back to admire my work. I suppose I could have been upset that none of those men could help a 5-foot-3 blond weighing only 108 pounds plant her tree. Fortunately for them, I lived alone for 13 years and learned how to fend for myself.

I love my new tree. It blows in the Florida breeze and reminds me of this special day (today, I mean.) Now I can celebrate Palm Sunday and not offend anyone and also be very proud of the work I did all by myself!

Thought for the day: A palm in the yard is worth two in the car.

Georgi Davis moved to Florida after retiring from teaching in Ohio, and she really misses the hustle and bustle of children and grandchildren.