Updated: Dec 31, 2022
Yesterday we planted eight of what will be thirteen willow oaks Quercus phellos in the garden. I had asked my landscape architect for an allee of trees to make my garden more French in feel and he did not disappoint with a row of Oaks in front of the house and a row of Elms at the back.
Rarely in one's life do you have the opportunity to plant that many trees and rarely that many Oaks. The Bible says that we are "Oaks of Righteousness" so that made me think of the parallel between our gardens and our lives.
Oaks are said to take 300 years to grow, 300 years to live and 300 years to die. Planting something with great permanence that can live almost a mellenium is not something you do everyday. These trees are so small now, but I can imagine them becoming tall, strong and stately. The Lord will water and nourish them through storms. They will encounter beautiful calm days and terrible tempest all the while growing to be the most imposing of any tree in the garden. That is a parallel of life, that we encounter peace and hardship all of which turns us into a beautiful spreading tree with shelter and nourishing abundance for those around us if we weather the storm.
The verse in Isaiah says that we are planted for the Lord to display His splendor. I hope my life and my garden can do the same as we grow together.
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
Willow oaks are a member of the red oak family and can get as high as 60 feet tall and 30 to 40 feet wide. They are found native to the east portion of America.