Nurture and Nature, by Charlotte Kroger

The environment is nurture; the child in his raw form is nature.

Outside my bedroom windows, along the back property line where my neighbor’s yard begins, I can see the four cherry laurel trees we planted a few years ago. Three of them are flourishing – getting tall and treelike – while the fourth is not doing so well. It is not as tall as the others and is skimpy in canopy. It’s not its fault. When we planted these trees we were not terribly discerning about the location. The gardener helping us said that the laurels should do well whether in sun or shade. So we planted them in an offset row across the back of our yard to serve as screening. We hadn’t taken into account the future growth of all the surrounding trees that now cast that part of the yard into deep shade, where the fourth laurel lives.


The trees came with ‘instructions’ – hidden potential with everything needed to become cherry laurels we could one day count on to screen the back of our property. But the environment in which they grow varied enough that one of four has not lived up to its potential of tree shading. Continue reading