Catalpa trees

9 Jun

Before I dated my husband, I worked very hard at not making a purchase unless it was something I really needed. As a single mom with 2 teenagers, every penny was needed for the basics. My husband, however, was quick to point out that there were many times when I should just buy something if I liked it.  Shopping in thrift shops or at Costco have been his favorites. At the former, the price allows for mistakes and at the later, I can always take it back. In both, however, it may not be there if I decide to think about first.

Today I found myself torn because I found something I love that I have never seen in a store before. It is not something that would be easy to move but something I really really want for the new house. It would make a lot more sense to buy it there but as I said, I’ve never seen one on sale before.

It is a catalpa tree. I’ve loved catalpas since I was a child. My mother hated them because they were messy and could be infested with caterpillars. Maybe that is why I liked them so much. I’ve always thought their flowers were so beautiful and fragrant. The leaves are large and heart shaped. The one I had in Auburn was gorgeous – 60 + feet tall with leaves that drug on the ground and the whole tree would be covered in blossoms. I even enjoyed looking at it in the winter when the leaves were gone. As many of the branches went down or sideways as went up and they often had elbows.

When we bought our house here, we had said it would have been perfect if it had a catalpa. It didn’t and we planted a prairie willow instead. Now as we are leaving there is a catalpa at the store. The yard is not big enough for another tree that will be really tall and wide. There is room for it in Texas. Our neighbor there has a small one but we don’t. I could buy the one here and plant it there but getting it there is the problem. A 10 foot tall tree is not an easy thing to pack. If it were shorter we could put it in the trailer or even my car with the other plants but it isn’t. It could only go in the UHaul truck but that is not a good option.

So the tree will stay at the store for someone else to buy. Is this a lesson that I really need to change my buying habits or is it a prediction that I’ll find another catalpa waiting for me in a garden area in Texas? I really hope that I don’t have to wait another ten years to say, I have a catalpa tree in my yard.


3 Responses to “Catalpa trees”

  1. gramajan June 10, 2012 at 6:11 AM #

    I like catalpa trees also, although I never thought of planting one. There was a huge one shading the parking lot at a doctor’s office in Burien. If you run a Google search you’ll see that they are available from online nurseries, so even if you can’t find one locally, you can purchase one that way. The Arbor Day catalog lists them, but they say they are out of stock at present.

    • compterteach June 10, 2012 at 6:17 AM #

      Thank you. I did see that there were a number of online sales options and all of the said they were out of stock. I’ll start looking this fall when I plant to start thinking about gardening. I don’t think I’ll get much of that done this summer.

      • Mary June 13, 2012 at 3:28 PM #

        Yeah, I can tell you that the little tree will not appreciate having to establish new roots in the middle of a TX summer, so wait until Fall when it’ll have a chance of survival. Don and I planted a Catalpa in our yard a couple of years ago, but it is still quite small. But we have dreams of those fragrant flowers in our future someday. 🙂

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