Happy Easter

Happy Easter

Several years ago I did something right, and not only purchased, but also planted (!) flower bulbs in the Autumn for something pretty the next Spring.  That may sound like a fairly basic and simple concept to you, but one of my many character flaws is sometimes biting off more than I can chew, so to speak.  The photos on those perennial packages are enticing, though, and it seems like my cousin Jeffrey had inspired me by describing all the bulbs he’d managed to put into the ground a year or two beforehand.  The semi-circular flower bed around my front porch was already installed when we moved in, complete with a native rock border.  Our arrival at the farm in October of 1992 was greeted with a bed full of marigolds, so it wasn’t until early the next summer that we realized there were established poppies in there too.  The idea of something coming up and blooming on its own, year after year, with no effort from me beyond the initial planting was more than I could resist.

Nearest the border I put the crocus bulbs, because those plants are the smallest of the ones I’d chosen for this location, and the first to bloom.  Granted, they sometimes get cut short by snow (and this year a little freezing rain), but even the least little dab of color at the center of those delicate strands of green is welcome by the time winter is coming to a close.  Just behind the crocus, and staggered between in case of overlap, come the hyacinths, then a row of mixed daffodils and jonquils behind them, and various tulips behind those.  As the weeks go marching into Springtime, the colors just keep coming until finally it’s warm enough to start putting in some annual bedding plants among the poppies.  The sway those flowers have over my mood is amazing.  Each and every day I see them, I marvel at what an artist our Creator must be, and what an endless imagination it took to come up with these beauties.

Easter is about resurrection.  As a Christian, tomorrow I celebrate the anniversary of the Greatest Gift of all:  Jesus Christ dying on the cross to buy redemption for our sins, and then raising from the dead and ascending to heaven to give us all the hope of life everlasting.  The flowers from those bulbs symbolize, to me, much the same sort of miracle.  They are signs of hope, rebirth, and renewal . . . the things I am so thankful to have, and the things I wish for each of you.

Happy Easter
Easter Beauty!

Springing Forward

Springing Forward

Following one of the coldest winters we’ve seen around here in a long time, Spring seems to have arrived.  I say “seems to”, out of an abundance of caution, maybe because I don’t want to jinx anything.  Also, this is Missouri, and just about anything can happen.  Last year we had snow on May 1, although that is not the norm by any means.  Nevertheless, almost everyone appears hopeful that it’s real, and that Spring has officially sprung.

Jackson & Perkins catalogs arrive in the mail almost weekly now, with hybrid tea roses so luscious-looking that I’m tempted to forget all about past experiences with Black Spot disease and Red Spider Mites, and spend vast quantities of money and time replanting the entire flower bed that surrounds my covered front porch.  My saving grace came last week when–just after the storms blew through–the first daffodil bloom of the season materialized.  And nearby is a super-fragrant pink hyacinth.  Both of them are close to the concrete steps on the south side of the porch, making me wonder if the heat of the sun on the old rough concrete radiated just enough warmth out into that part of the ground to induce those particular bulbs to produce their yearly beauty show first.  Other plants are sending up shoots, too, reminding me that there’s more color to come.  Their blooms don’t last very long into the season, but at least the bulbs keep producing, year after year.

Pink Hyacinth

Providing, of course, that the moles don’t get to them.  As you may recall, my D.G. dog Albert is quite the mole digger (see Archives!) but he’s still no good on backfill.  And replanting the bulbs that get tossed along with the soil if he finds a varmint in the flower bed?  Not a chance!