I made a very quick pass through Queensborough yesterday on my way home to Montreal from the family farm up in Haliburton County. I wanted to check in on the Manse, and besides, the Queensborough variation on the long route from Gelert, Ont., to Montreal is as quick as any. I have to say the place was looking absolutely great. The gardens by the front verandah are flourishing (though I pulled out several overly healthy milkweed plants that I’d missed in my last round of weeding), and the lawn looks terrific, thanks to the care of our friend Johnny Barry. Johnny had also cut and cleared away a lot of brush from the back yard. And best of all was that he had undertaken the very big job of taking away all the sawdust that was left when the great big stump (all that was left of a lovely maple tree that once graced the front yard) was recently ground up. (You can see a video showing the grinding process, with a cameo by Johnny on his riding mower at the end, in my post here.) Johnny told me it had taken three trips to get rid of all the sawdust.
I had expected to see a great big hole in the ground where the stump (and later the sawdust) had been. Instead I was surprised and delighted to see that the ground was all smoothed over, with a bunch of topsoil added, and had even been seeded with grass seed. Johnny’s work again! We are so happy to have him looking after this sort of stuff on the property.
So this coming weekend when we’re in Queensborough, our prime mission will be to buy a new maple tree, the biggest one we can afford (because, as my brother John says, we don’t have forever to wait for it to grow), and arrange to have it planted. Even so, neither Raymond nor I will live long enough to see it grow into the size that the old maple was in my childhood. But it will be a good feeling to know that it will happen, and that we will have brought it about. And you can be sure that our new tree will get a great deal of love and care as long as we are there to love and care for it.