I was so happy to enjoy a visit from my grandmother this past weekend. My Mom came down to visit and to babysit the girls so that we could have a nice dinner with friends on Saturday night. Thank you, Mom! I was thrilled to hear that Grammy would be tagging along. She doesn't get to visit often but it's such a pleasure to have her here. Always. She used to live in Charlotte and loves this city as much as I do.
On this visit, we made a visit downtown. Sophie had tickets to the Youth Symphony so Alain, Grammy, Clara and I watched the Veteran's Day parade while Soph and my Mom were in the theater. Afterwards we had a nice lunch and then took a little scenic walk back to the parking garage. On the way, we stopped at a small garden/fountain area at the street level of the building where I used to work. As Alain and Soph ran around the fountain and played, my grandmother and I admired the trees planted there. She was curious what type of trees they were.
As it happens, I'd just found one of my favorite books the day before as I was cleaning.
So we took a twig from both the male and female tree, I took a photo of the bark and we headed home.
Tonight I had some time to go through the book and, as it turns out, these particular trees are either Siberian Elms or Chinese Elms. Both seem to look a lot alike. Here are the photos of the leaves and the bark.
Siberian and Chinese Elms were both imported from Asia and they can be invasive in certain areas of the country. They are fast growing and seem to be resistant to diseases that afflict other elm varieties. As in this particular case, they are also hardy in urban settings.
On several websites, I was amazed to find that the inner bark of this tree was often dried, ground into powder and used as a thickening agent in soups and breads. I was not surprised to read how the flowers and stem bark are used to treat all sorts of conditions and ailments.
I found all of this quite fascinating and it made me so thankful to have a grandmother who shares such interests as my own. Who knows, maybe she was the influence. For that, Grammy, I have so much to thank you for! Here she is enjoying a coffee and the parade....
Later on she remarked how this was the nicest day she'd enjoyed in a long time. To that, I simply say, you and me both. Oh, and.....
PLEASE COME BACK SOON!