It’s a bit of a scavenger hunt, a serendipitous hunt because you are not likely intending to find all possible Linden Trees. There are few clues. But this is what I wonder when I find one, such as this lovely tree, past bloom, but full of fruit and seed.
I suspect that Linden Trees (basswood ) are not planted in modern landscapes because they are “dirty”? What a shame.
For me, der linden is a memory trigger. On hot early summer days – so long ago – I would meet Barbara Harkleroad at the McCaskey High School tennis courts. We had a hot, intense, companionable but highly competitive, series of singles games. Run to the net and smash !
And beside us, a row of highly fragrant linden trees, blooming away, almost exemplifying – mimicking in a way – the power building on the court..
I went there, a week ago, to find those trees. Only one remains. where once there was a stately row, now someone planted a fresh clean row of something bland and clean . Maybe maples or elms. No trouble at all. And no powerful fragrance.
I always wonder who planted those lindens there. JP McCaskey died in 1935. He had been educator, journalist, even mayor of the town of Lancaster. I find this clue to the planting of those linden trees on Wikiedia:
Prior to the establishment of Arbor Day celebration in public schools, McCaskey had already introduced the celebration of Arbor Day to Pennsylvania by leading a program at his school in 1884. Over the next 20 years, he and the Lancaster High School, which included a girls’ department, held two Arbor Days annually, complete with afternoon programs lasting sometimes 2-2+1⁄2 hours. Students and faculty planted over 9,000 trees all around the town.
Do look: Heartshaped leaves. Often more than one tree survives. When I find them they are old. and yes there is debris— debris with textures, shapes, and the memory of the scent, a powerful scent.
Once the main east-west thoroughfare of imperial Berlin, Unter den Linden survived the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich to spend nearly 30 years as the most famous dead-end street in the world when Berlin became a divided city.
July 18, 2021 at 4:21 PM
A beautifully written piece!