In a previous post, I wrote about time spent thinking and sketching about a flower garden in need of rejuvenation and a new goal of making space for more medicinal plants, including the European black elderberry, whose flowers and berries can be used to make a tincture which really helps fight off colds and flu. Right now we buy our elderflower extract from Israel, and I've been thinking that it would be another step towards meeting our own family's needs more locally to grow our own. Plus elderberry bushes are beautiful, and attract pollinators and butterflies.
So, there on my little map of the north garden sits a single circle where the elderberry, once we find it, will someday grow. Some years ago when we tried to start a black elderberry bush, seedlings were very hard to find. The more common Canadian elderberry was easy to find, but not the black variety, which is another species.
But, just one day after my sketching and dreaming, Phil tells me he has some news. He decided to go looking online for black elderberry and found a source right away. And, you can't plant just one black elderberry, it turns out. First of all, every plant needs a companion for pollination if you want to harvest any berries. And then, there are varieties to try, with interesting foliage and different growth habits. So we need at least three. And, did I realize, they grow to be 10 feet high?
So now we will have elderberries in the spring! But not just one, and not in the spot I imagined, which is much too small for a full grown bush. I'm not sure we have room for three, but maybe a neighbor will want to experiment with one of them. Now there are conversations to have and sketches to redraw.
That's how it goes with visioning, at least in my experience. The simple act of stating what I would like to see happen opens possibilities and and quickly presents new questions. It works that way with little visions, for bushes and gardens, and with bigger ones, for revitalized economies and cooperation on global challenges. One needs to be willing to work with whatever comes our way, be it three ten-foot shrubs, or three new partners from across the world.