About two months after I found Reba's mailing label in the roses, I decided to plant a crepe myrtle in her memory. In the root ball of her crepe myrtle, I placed the label, thereby returning it to nature, which was as I had found it. I did not blog about the plantings, as I knew we were experiencing drought conditions, and I was afraid that the tree would not survive. I didn't want any additional heartache visited upon her family (even a heartache so small as a tree not taking to a transplanting). So, I planted her tree, with a brother tree across the sidewalk, quietly and without fanfare.
This is a photo from 29 June 2011, the day I planted the two crepe myrtles. Reba's is the one on the left, still in the pot, waiting to be planted.
About two months later, Reba's son messaged me to ask how Reba's crepe myrtle was doing, because he remembered that I mentioned that I was planning to remember her in such a fashion. Happily, I was able to report:
...funny that you mention the crepe myrtle...at the time that I planted the crepe myrtle in which I placed Reba's address label, I planted another crepe myrtle across from it. Both trees came from the same nursery (the local master gardners), both the same size/age (leggy adolescents), and neither had flower buds on them (wouldn't expect any until next year, since I planted them late spring). But when I saw your query this morning, I went out to take a closer look at the trees. Interestingly, Reba's tree has a lot more growth on it, and surprisingly, I found one tender little flower bud cluster forming on one of the top branches. So Jeff, Reba's crepe myrtle is doing great...is surpassing my first year expectations. I suppose I really shouldn't be surprised...
Both crepe myrtles are still doing remarkably well to this day, as you can see in the photo below:
But Reba's is still knocking it out of the park. I love that her tree had flowers on it last year...I expect many more this year.