A Birthday Gift to Me – a Birthday Gift to AERF – India


My maple tree repurposed as a native plant garden border
A brand new garden, cleverly outlined with maple tree branches, surprised me as we pulled in the driveway – the most perfect birthday gift and welcome home gift from my six week adventure in India!  This marked the spot of the dead maple tree that I had been refusing to cut down.  I was hopeful it would magically come back to life if I gave it more time. My boyfriend knew otherwise as the bark had fallen off and no foliage had emerged in two years.  So Nick creatively designed a landmark that would pay homage to the tree that had to be cut down for safety’s sake (right next to the drive and house).

Nick thoughtfully repurposed the thickest branches by affixing them to a binding strap and burying the bottom of the circular garden border.  Now a part of the tree is valuable as a new decorative use.  I love the natural look to this and the fact that part of the tree is still there.  Instead of planting more grass (that would just require energy and gas to mow), he wisely planted native plants where the tree once was.  In another year these will grow into beautiful flowers that require little to no maintenance (remember my former entry on the benefits of native plants). The thoughtful gesture thrilled me as it was the perfect birthday gift, but more importantly, was a responsible decision that benefits the earth.

I can, and will, plant another tree in my yard to replace this fallen maple tree.  Additionally I am motivated to think globally after 2 weeks with AERF India (Applied Environmental Research Foundation).  While in India, I shared a pre-birthday celebration with AERF – it’s their organization’s 20th anniversary!  In honor of my maple tree, I’m making a donation to help save a “giant tree” in a sacred grove of the North Western Ghats.  A giant tree is an old-growth tree, likely a few hundred years old, with great medicinal and ecological value.  I encourage my blog readers to make environmentally responsible decisions for their own backyard, and also for backyards across the globe.  Consider giving a birthday gift to AERF to support their campaign.  If you can not at this time, remember that caring for the environment in your community makes a big difference – this planet all shares the same water and air.  We are all connected!  Read more about AERF‘s work and visit their My Forest campaign page.  (Many more blog entries to come on AERF!)

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