Did you have a story in elementary school about the pussy willow shrub? I think I must have because it brings a smile to my face each time I see it.
In our old neighborhood I let a friend cut some branches to take home. She told her girls about the bush. Trying to say back the name her youngest exclaimed. “Oh look! Squishy Pillows!”
These shrubs are fun because they shout a promise of spring and they are easy to cultivate. Cut a few branches. Let them root in water. Transplant to a moist place in the yard and let them go! Each spring after the leaves emerge from the buds, my husband cuts them back so that new branches will form for the next spring.
The above website says: “The technique of coppice, severe renewal pruning, is often successfully used as part of pussy willow care too. Branches of the pussy willow are somewhat weak, so yearly pruning when flowers are spent encourages new growth for the next year.
“Cutting branches for indoor display is an excellent use of catkins and flowers when growing a pussy willow tree. Cut branches with buds and place them in a tall vase in bright sunlight. You’ll be rewarded with indoor blooms before the outdoor tree breaks bud, in many cases.”
Ha! I found two older ladies singing the song from elementary school! Guess it was not a story, but a song. Think pussy cat. (Sadly, the word has become vulgar in today’s political society. ) I was impressed that these ladies could do the movement at the end! I found a video of children singing it with movements, but their voices were very faint. Enjoy!