Small weeping pussy willow plants are usually sold in the flower departments of supermarkets around this time of the year and every year I have resisted a temptation to buy one, for fear that I would not know how to take care of it.
Yesterday I decided to get one ($12.99) after reading the instruction that accompanied the plant, "Keep plant indoor for first winter keeping well-watered. Silvery white catkins will appear followed by yellow stamen later in season... Plant outside in spring and keep well-watered for the first year. This plant has been grafted, so all wild upright growing shoots must be removed from the stem."
This morning I have already found some silvery catkins turned light yellow and more fluffy. I am eager to find out how it will fare in weeks, months and years ahead.
Pussy willow is a name given to many of the smaller species of the genus Salix, family Salicaceae, when their furry catkins are young, according to Wikipedia
This weeping pussy willow came from SunriseGreenhouse in Canada. It is described as being, "Among the most graceful trees. It is connected with all that is feminine-dreaming, intuition, emotion, enchantment, healing and revitalization. The willow has long since been recognized as a sacred tree by poets, philosophers and religious leaders because of the flexibility of its twigs. The willow's flexibility symbolizes resilience and inspires us to move with life rather than resist what we are feeling."
I used to have a large weeping willow tree in the backyard and my 3 children grew up always saying their favorite tree was the weeping willow.
I have kept 3 small branches of pussy willow in a little vase in my office for more than 30 years. These pussy willow catkins seemed to have been frozen in time and became very special and sentimental to me.
I will look forward to the new weeping pussy willow with an enchanted and optimistic anticipation.