Slow and steady wins the race

Published 3:45 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2022

In this absolutely lovely time of year when the trees begin to bud out and the temperatures dance all over the place, I quite often get a good case of planting fever. I inevitably find myself at some garden center perusing through all the beautiful plants dreaming of the color and texture they will provide to my yard.

This year has been no different, but I learned a thing or two about transplanting pines the hard way. Our acreage in the country still doesn’t have even the first thing that resembles a house on it, but we did stake out the place where we envision it. With this matter out of the way I have stood on my imaginary porches and planned my outdoor space. I could almost smell those beautiful flowers and see the butterflies flitting from plant to plant.

Two sides of our property already have mature pines, which will provide a wonderful backdrop for the acid loving azaleas, camellias, and hollies that I have begun to purchase and transplant there. Their colorful blossoms have already begun to burst into their glorious show, but those pines I had a young man transplant for me have been another story altogether.

Mike carefully and somewhat slowly transplanted several small pine saplings, which took hold right away, but the young man who helped me didn’t quite have the technique down pat. I believe in his hurry to get a lot done he wasn’t as careful not to cut the taproot. I can only assume that to be the problem, but I know for sure that many of those didn’t take hold and have turned brown, but the ones Mike carefully planted are looking healthy and strong.

I am reminded of the old adage slow and steady wins the race. If I’m not mistaken this was taken from the fable of The Tortoise and The Hare. In this old tale the tortoise plugs along while the hare practically runs circles around him. But in the end when the hare decides to take a little nap because he is so far ahead the tortoise plods right past him and crosses the finish line while the hare is unaware of what is happening. The wisdom from the fable becomes apparent when this occurs and the reader hopefully concurs that the fastest way of doing things is not always the best.

Admittedly, I usually want things done yesterday and occasionally get in too big of a rush to accomplish the task at hand. I don’t get sloppy with my own work, but I sometimes do push until I’m past ready for lunch or a break. If this happens I’m like the energizer bunny that has run out of battery power! At that point the only thing to do is take a nap. I guess maybe that’s what happened to the hare! 

 

Jan Penton Miller writes a weekly column for The Oxford Eagle.