Posted tagged ‘Flower’

“The earth neither grows old or wears out if it is dunged.”

March 22, 2012

Yesterday was summer. It was a sandals and short-sleeve day. I had my bedroom window open and woke up to the sounds of leaf blowers. I could hear people talking and birds singing to the morning. The silence and sense of isolation which winter always brings is gone, at least for now. Today is supposed to be just like yesterday, but the weatherman says the temperature will plummet this weekend. The forecast in today’s local paper for the weekend predicts nights in the 30’s and days in the high 40’s, typical weather for spring on Cape Cod, but we have been spoiled.

I ordered flowers from a catalog yesterday. They’ll be here at planting time for my weather zone. They are flowers I would never have thought of buying except my friend Christer had given me a list, and that’s what I used. He knows flowers and plants, and the pictures on his blog of everything he finds on his walks and what he has planted in his garden always makes me a bit jealous. I was proud of my front garden last year though I knew only the names of a couple of the flowers. That won’t change. Flowers are defined by color for me.

I am going to have a vegetable garden this year. I’ve had an herb garden for years, but I thought I’d branch out, so to speak. I’ve always thought just below the deck would be the perfect spot for a small garden. My landscaper is going to use railroad ties for the boundary and right now he is dumping loam which he’ll mix with cow manure. I’ll have tomatoes and one other vegetable. I thought about zucchini but planting it is akin to having a pair of  rabbits. Two rabbits quickly become many, and, like the rabbits,  zucchini seems to replicate itself. Anyone who grows it is always trying to give it away. Besides, the only way I like zucchini is in a sweet bread. The cooked vegetable always seems a bit boring to me.

Gracie has been out all morning, and I think it’s time to join her. It is amazing that this is the second deck day in a row!

“The Earth Laughs in Flowers.”

March 19, 2012

It is just after 11, and the temperature is already 64°. Gracie is in the yard, and I’ve been outside standing on the deck taking in the morning and watching her enjoy the sun. She has a grassy spot where she lies asleep on her side spread out to the warmth. Fern is lying in the sun from the front door. I can almost hear Curly singing Oh What a Beautiful Morning.

My yard is filled with flowers from the bulbs I planted last fall. Usually the spawns of Satan dig them up but not last year. Every morning I can’t help but stand a while just to look at them. I long for color after the bareness of winter so the bright yellows and deep purples draw me to the garden. Even the white crocus are filled with a richness of color. Some flowers have yet to bloom, and I wait patiently wondering what other surprises the garden will give.

When I was a little kid, spring meant putting away the heavy coat, the mittens, the hat and the boots. I don’t think I ever noticed flowers growing. I noticed the mud and I heard the birds every morning on my way to school. Spring also meant taking my bike out of the cellar and finally getting to ride it again. Spring meant staying outside longer on a school day afternoon. The streetlights came on later and later.

I always felt a sense of freedom in the spring. Gone was the bulkiness of winter. The radiators stopped their hissing. The windows were free of frost and were opened for the first time in months. The house was filled with the sweet smell of the spring air. We went back to roaming on a Saturday.

Back then I loved summer, but I think spring was my favorite season. I know for certain it is now. Officially, spring is two days away, but today is a spring day.

“Life isn’t all beer and skittles, but beer and skittles, or something better of the same sort, must form a good part of every Englishman’s education.”

March 15, 2012

This morning I stood outside admiring my flowers. Several crocus (I know it has a first declension Latin masculine ending so it is really croci) are blooming. Most are purple and yellow. Any day now my daffodils will open and so will a few flowers outside the fence. I always want a party when the first flowers bloom. It seems a celebratory time needing funny hats, horn blowing and colorful mismatched clothing.

The sun is bright, but it is only 43°. After the Cape finally reached 60°, my expectations have risen. The weatherman says a warm spell is on the way, and Boston will be in the high 70’s so we’ll be in the 60’s again. I’ve got to remember my sunscreen.

I cleaned another cabinet and the bookcase in the kitchen. The bookcase is filled with special cookbooks I collect, those with recipes inspired by novels, and neat stuff like Davy Crockett bowls and a glass, a Hopalong Cassidy milk bottle, an old A&W mug and lots of other stuff including tacky souvenirs from places I’ve never been. I took everything knickknackty off the bookcase and washed or polished everything. Now I wear sunglasses to protect me from the glare in the kitchen. I have a couple of other cabinets I still need to tackle but not today. It’s my day off the mundane.

Tonight is trivia night, and the whole team will be there. It’s dinner out, a few drinks and several  futile attempts to rack my brain for answers I should know but have totally forgotten. It is sometimes a humbling night.

Sorry was our favorite family game but second to that was Go to the Head of the Class. I have my family’s original Go to the Class Game from around 1955 I think. My mother gave it to me for my school-themed bathroom. One of these nights I’m going to pull it out so my friends and I can play. The questions are age-related so adults can play. My parents used to play with us. They got to be Mommy and Daddy, two of the cardboard pieces. I think my brother was Cowboy Joe and I was Sis. The originators (Milton Bradley) weren’t too  imaginative with the names. The board is filled with desks and you keep moving to the top row, the head of the class. It was one of our favorite games.

I remember endless games of Slapjack and War. The problem with Slapjack was the first person to slap the Jack got slapped by everyone else trying to snag the card, and the backs of  our hands stayed red most of the game. We’d actually play War until its conclusion. I can’t imagine that.

Well, I’m done. I have some prep for tonight’s trivia. I have to check out a map of the world. I’m okay with most parts, but I’m really bad with which countries abut each other in Asia and parts of the Middle East.  I want to be ready for all the geography questions tonight.

“Any subject can be made interesting, and therefore any subject can be made boring.”

May 27, 2011

Today is beautifully sunny and warm. When I went on the deck earlier this morning, I could smell the sweetness in the air. It smelled of flowers and herbs and a touch of the ocean. A slight breeze rustled the leaves of the trees in the backyard. I have a few flowers wanting pots so I’ll be outside taking in the sun and potting some plants for the deck. The fountain needs some tubing so I’ll visit the hardware store late in the afternoon so as not to waste a minute of the sun. It has a tendency to disappear.

I don’t remember my graduation from the eighth grade, and that amazes me as memorable events in my life usually hang around in my memory drawers just waiting to be tapped. I figure it could have been in the church as that was large enough or even the town hall with its stage and rows of wooden chairs. I do remember wearing a frilly dress. The boys wore jackets and ties. The nuns wore habits.

Today is a tabula rasa day. I don’t seem to have much going on in my head. Maybe it’s the sun and my wanting to be outside. Maybe it’s because I haven’t really been doing much of late. Polishing bookcases, doing laundry and changing my bed make for boring conversation. Perhaps I should embroider a story, an adventure, but you’ve been around every day and would know it was make-believe. I did buy a new piece of luggage, a duffel on wheels, and I’m now a Global Entry Member. That means I get to go to the head of any US customs’ line. I just have to wave my passport and card and someone will take me to the head of the line. I’m figuring the person I cut in front of won’t be too happy.

Well, that’s it. The sun is calling my name. I’m done for today!

“A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule.”

May 22, 2011

Most of my flowers and all of my herbs are now planted. Only the deck flowers are still in their pots waiting for a more permanent home. After everything was planted yesterday, I saw I still need more herbs for the garden, some for the window boxes, geraniums for the deck pots and more flowers for the front. After my dump run today, I’ll go shopping.

The weatherman was right: still no sun. The rain came last night which was good for everything I’d planted. The sky is gray and the day is still damp. The leaves on the oak tree are getting bigger and darker. Maybe they sense summer coming better than I can.

When I was little, I often presented my mother with a bouquet of yellow dandelions. She was always thrilled and made a big deal of putting them in a glass of water then on the table or the windowsill. She made me feel as if I had given her the most beautiful flowers anyone had ever seen. I remember buttercups and holding one under my friend’s chin to see if she liked butter. If she did, the yellow was reflected on her. I remember blowing dandelion puffs. The field below my house was filled with them, and we’d run through, grab a few, blow and let the wind take them. They always seemed to waft gently.

I don’t remember lots of flower gardens in my neighborhood. Most people, like my father, planted a few flowers in front and none in the backyards which were filled with clotheslines and a wide hill of grass stretched across the back of where all our houses stood. Lawns were the big thing. There wasn’t an acknowledged competition, but it existed none the less. My father mowed a certain way. Every Saturday you could hear the click clack of his mower as he walked across the lawn in the particular pattern he favored. None of us ever mowed. We didn’t do it right. We’d cut the grass, but the pattern was always wrong. My father had a beautiful lawn, but he was never the winner. Mrs. Burns always was.

“The ‘Amen!’ of Nature is always a flower.”

May 14, 2011

I know it is very late for me, but I have all sorts of reasons. Last night I went to bed quite late, or early depending upon your perspective, and so I slept in until 10. At the CARE Center, an emergency 24-7 animal hospital, there was a plant sale, and I wanted to go. The money from the sale is for the Sampson Fund which helps people who can’t afford to pay vet bills and it also pays for the vet bills of abandoned, hurt animals. I filled my trunk with herbs and plants. My next stop was Dunkin’ Donuts as I had left the house before my coffee. I got my coffee and also a butternut donut which had been saved for me by a former student. When I got home, it was read the papers, have another cup of coffee and share my donut with Gracie time. That brings us to now.

The day is perfectly lovely with lots of sun and a blue sky dotted with clouds. It’s an outside day so Agway is definitely in my future. Those plants I bought this morning have caused a cascade effect. I want more.

My family was never really into gardens when I was a kid. My father planted mostly pansies in the front of the house in what was a very small garden. When we moved to the cape, he was still pretty much an indifferent gardener. I don’t even remember flowers. The house they moved to when I was in the Peace Corps was where flowers bloomed. My mother had her garden right outside the kitchen table windows. In it was a bird bath and a statue of St. Francis with his hands out holding seeds and several varieties of flowers of all different heights. My dog Maggie loved to visit that garden, and I was forever pulling her out and replacing the wire fence. The front by the house had all sorts of plants, and the window boxes were beautiful with flowers filling them and ivy hanging from them. Every Mother’s Day we bought my mother gift certificates to a nursery.

When I bought my own house, a sense of pride forced me to start a garden in the front. My parents came to visit and brought plants as a gift. My dad planted them, and those plants are still there. My brother and his then girl friend gave me a forsythia tree as a gift, and that too is still in the front garden, and an offshoot is down the street in my friends’ yard. The garden is in the same spot as when I bought the house, but I have moved the fence behind it so people can see my garden. I am that proud of it. The perennials have already appeared as have the lilacs in a side garden. This year I will add some vegetables to a raised bed in the backyard and plant herbs in the deck boxes which sit on the rail.

I have become a gardener.

“Spring – An experience in immortality.”

May 9, 2011

When I woke up, the sun was bright and warm as it streamed through the front door. Now it plays tag with a few clouds, but I fear its battle will be lost. The clouds are getting more numerous and darker. The wind is fierce, howling at times, and even bending the biggest trees. Pink and white petals from my neighbor’s flowering trees are blowing in the wind and look like snow flurries. It’s 55°.

I noticed my lilac tree has flowers, deep purple flowers. I love their smell, but lilac flowers do a job on my allergies so I admire them from afar. The other day I was outside talking to my neighbors when a woman walked by us. She stopped long enough to say how beautiful my garden is. I thanked her, and she said, “No, thank you. I love walking by your house.”

The other day I watched a pair of amorous robins. They fluttered together from the ground to the top of the fence and back again. When one flew, the other followed. I was standing on the deck being as quiet as possible as one of the robins took a bath while the other perched on a nearby branch. When the first was done, the second took its bath then they flew off together and kept going. A squirrel is building a nest between branches close to the deck. I watched it climbing and jumping from branch to branch with leaves in its mouth. I followed with my eyes until I saw my nest. The squirrel disappeared inside. Spring is the season of romance.

“Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again”

April 5, 2011

My patience is wearing thin. It’s another gray day with rain expected. If April showers really bring May flowers, this entire area should be covered in lovely, colorful flowers with barely an open spot for walking. The wind was heavy all night, and this morning even the biggest pine trees are rocking back and forth. Later I have a few errands so Miss Gracie and I will be heading out.

With all the rain yesterday I didn’t get the feeders filled so that is a definite chore for today. I miss seeing the birds through the window as I write this. They always perk up my morning. I feel bad that I have neglected them.

Gracie got on the lounge the other day, the only day with any sun, but it was too cold and windy so she got off and came into the house. I know she wants, as I do, to nap in the sun. Her two favorite spots are the small patch of grass in the backyard and the lounge on the deck.

I always feel as if I’m hibernating most winters. I get out a couple of times a week but mostly the cold keeps me inside warm and cozy. The first sunny day is like a magnet drawing me outside. I sit with my face to the sun, my eyes closed and let all that warmth surround me. I know it’s coming but this year, for some reason, I am just so tired of the cold and the lack of  spring here on the Cape. I know it has been the same all the years I’ve lived here, but this year seems somehow worse. Maybe it was missing three months after the first surgery or that I haven’t really gone anywhere of late. I just know the sun and the warmth better come soon and chase away the winter blues.

“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.”

April 3, 2011

The sky is that beautiful deep blue that takes your breath away. A few, small wispy clouds are close to the horizon. The breeze is slight enough to keep the day warmer than it’s been. More flowers have appeared in the front garden, and I stop to look every time I’m out there. They make me realize how close I am to the time for my many visits to the gardening shop. Today I need dog food at Agway so I’ll also probably stroll through the flowers they have outside. This time of year they are hardy sorts.

I went to a lecture about butterflies the other day. It was about the Long Meadow Pasture Butterfly Mosaic Trail, an Audubon site not far from here. The slides were wonderful. I learned all about the host plants for local butterflies. Now I want to try and find some to plant so the butterflies have places to lay their eggs. I never heard of most of the plants and the lecturer said they had to order many on line when they planted the trail. I have to decide which butterflies I want to attract then get my fingers busy. The only host plant I already have is the violet which attracts the Silver-Bordered Fritillary and the Great Spangled Fritillary.

When I was a kid, the field below my house was filled with milkweed, and I remember the butterflies flitting all through that field. I didn’t know until much later they were Monarchs who lay their eggs on milkweed. I haven’t seen milkweed growing anywhere around here in the same numbers I used to see them when I was a kid so I guess I’ll have to help.

Soon enough I’ll be putting out my hummingbird and Baltimore Oriole Feeders. I was thrilled last year at the numbers of each I saw off the deck as well as the other birds, my old friends, who stay around all year. Later this afternoon I have to refill the feeders. So many birds drop by that the feeders empty in only a couple of days.

Gracie and I have a dump run this afternoon, about the only excitement for the day.