Category Archives: Easter Egg Hunt

TULIP TIMING

Each fall when I order tulips

I check the calendar for the next spring.

I try to time them to bloom

For my annual Easter Egg Hunt.

That’s tricky

At best.

Easter can swing wildly over a month

From late March to late April.

Then you throw in the weather changes

And you’ve got a challenge.

I’ve been pretty lucky over the last few years

And somehow managed

To have some kind of blooming tulips.

Perfect for photo ops of all kinds.

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Last fall knowing that Easter would be relatively late this spring

I ordered the latest blooming variety I could find.

French Blend from Colorblends.IMG_7487

I’ve been planting these in the front bed

For several years.

And they always bloom well behind

The varieties I plant in the back.

So this year I decided to plant both areas to French Blend.

The days we hit the high 80’s in February

Made me a little nervous

The leaves came popping out of the ground

At record speed.

Then March began to actually act like March

And the whole process stalled.

This week the yellow tulips in the back starting blooming

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And now a few in the front are popping with color.

If these cloudy days hold on for another week.

It looks like I’ll have another Easter

With tulips.

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Please know this has nothing to do with any special gardening skills.

It’s simply planning

Backed up with faith.

A pretty good combination.

Gail

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Filed under Easter Egg Hunt, spring, Spring Flowering Bulbs, tulips, Uncategorized

FPC Good News Easter Egg Hunt v.4

This spring has been out of sync.

It started early

February early!

Late on the sunny afternoon of February 21st

When I finished pruning my roses

Earlier than ever in my gardening history

I was thinking to myself.

I’m off to a great start.

I’ll actually get ahead of the weeds this year.

About that time I stepped on something in my path

And heard a pop as I went down.

My first broken bone – ankle

Was accompanied with the first use of my Medicare card!

Last week a month of this

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Finally ended.

On Thursday the next two generations arrived

For Easter weekend.

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For obvious reasons

Ie 20 month old twins

Elliott, Kristina, Harper and Henry

Don’t come this way often

So I’m grateful they enjoy

An early spring visit

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It’s especially fun that they get to join in

For the adventure of The Good News Easter Egg Hunt V.4.

I’ve not been able to do a single thing in my garden.

I thought I would after a few weeks,

But I was wrong.

Thankfully, my friends Carrie and Torry

Accompanied by Cassidy and Sloan

Came a few weeks ago

And cut back all the dead.

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It tidied up the place nicely

Giving the green a better chance to spring out of the ground.

A little rain helped even more.

But it also fed the weeds.

And I do mean weeds – Henbit, Dandelions and PoAnna

Like I’ve never seen.

Fortunately, along with that Medicare card

Comes perspective.

None of the hundred plus people who came on Saturday

Mentioned the weeds.

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Harper certainly didn’t notice as she made endless trips

Up and down the path

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And in and out the garden house doors.

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Henry didn’t care one bit about the state of the garden

As long as he had dirt to play in

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And a birdbath to explore.

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Thankfully twins seem to come with parents

Who are not overprotective

And let them be kids.

And speaking of kids

More than ever came this year.

Including the church’s new Girl Scout Troop

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Members

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And their extended families12718191_1024559190962260_4892882053472026242_n

So what have I learned through it all?

What I all ready knew.

No one sees the weeds but me.

They are part of life

They are life.

And what a life it is.

On Sunday

We sat in the “squirmy section” of church

Rows of kids with parents

And grandparents.

Midway through the worship service

The grandfather in front of John

Picked up Harper’s pacifier

And handed it back to John

With the knowing grin

Of the common bond of grandfather’s love.

Easter – Spring – Rebirth

God’s amazing love is all around.

Especially in the weeds.

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Happy Easter,

Gail

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Filed under Easter Egg Hunt, Grandchildren, Uncategorized, Weeds

GENERATIONS

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Four years ago

When we were planning the first Good News Easter Egg Hunt

We didn’t have a lot of children in our congregation.

So we encouraged everyone to invite

Their grandchildren

And great-grandchildren

And neighbor’s children

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And friend’s children.

And they did.

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Two families from Wichita have come home every year.

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So I was elated

When Elliott and Kristina

Began making plans to bring Henry & Harper

Here for their first Easter.

Traveling with twin 8 month old babies

Is brave to say the least.

But they have been amazingly relaxed parents.

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Last Saturday afternoon

We gathered in the garden.

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Many of these children have been coming every year.

They are very comfortable in my garden

And respectful.

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They know they are welcome to wonder through it all

As long as they stay on the path.

They can even leave their name in chalk.

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Fewer and fewer each year are concerned about

Ladybugs crawling up their arms.

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This year one child even made my

“Why do we release ladybugs in the garden” speech spontaneously for me.

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Sloan realized that we were a bit deprived

In the signage department

And convinced her mom to fix that problem.

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As more children have come to our church

Our numbers have grown.

It’s common to have three generations of families come.

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Sometimes even four.

Which is why I was thrilled when

My uncle George dropped by

To meet Harper & Henry.

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George is the last of my father’s 12 siblings.

It was a poignant moment to see them together.

The past meeting the future.

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Gardens have always been a gathering place

A place of reflection

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A place to pass along knowledge

And wisdom.

Generations of life happen in a garden.

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I’m so pleased that some of those memories

Are being made each Easter

In my garden.

Gail

Thank you for this personal indulgence.  I promise to get to serious gardening next week!

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Filed under Easter Egg Hunt, Grandchildren, Grandchldren Generations, Lady Bugs, spring

EASTER – CHILDREN – GARDENS

Sometimes holding an annual event

Can be well…dicey. Expectations increase.

People can get tired of the same thing.

The odds for good weather decrease.

Not so if children are involved

And Easter eggs filled with candy. DSCN3793

So, yesterday we hosted the 3rd

I’d say it’s safe to say Annual 1st Presbyterian Church Easter Egg.

Each year Kay, master of children’s  Christian education

Mixes things up a bit. DSCN3730

And this year we decided to invite the families

Of our neighboring church St. Matthews Episcopal.

We have been lucky with the weather all these years.

And this year was no exception. DSCN3766

It was a glorious afternoon.

And to top it off The Redbud trees were still in full bloom

Providing a marvelous backdrop for

The blanket of tulips leading up to the garden house. DSCN3752

Now you realize this is just luck.

No gardener has any say about when things bloom in the spring.

And if you try to plan it – it simply will not happen.

So you might as well just give it up

And hope for the best.

This is an attitude I’ve had to learn.

Fortunately, I had an excellent teacher.

My mother was the most relaxed hostess I’ve ever known. SCAN0001

Oh she would get “flustered” as she would say.

But she learned during the wild ride of her life.

To relax and enjoy it.

So yesterday as 50 or 60 children

(We don’t really know how many came.)

Were running through the garden. DSCN3781

Releasing lady bugs DSCN3736

Listening to the resurrection story DSCN3756

 

Exploring the compost pile

Trying out the  chimney of the outdoor fireplace

And gathering Easter Eggs DSCN3768

One child brought back a wonderful memory of my mother

And the grace that she showed so many people during her life.

It happened during a family Sunday School Class party

Of many of these very people.

It was in the late 1980’s and we decided to have the party

At my parent’s home in the city.

Big house – big yard – big draw.

Dozens of us showed up and swarmed the place. Image (4)

At one point several young mothers were standing in the kitchen

Visiting with mother as Cristina, maybe 3 or so

Appeared with a bouquet of flowers for the hostess.

Freshly picked from her own flower beds.

Beth, her mother, turned ashen.

Mother bent down and thanked

And likely hugged Cristina.

She was thrilled with the gift.

So yesterday

When I noticed Kay’s granddaughter

Walking along the garden house path

Snapping off tulips DSCN3798

I smiled

Then laughed

What a gift this memory is.

Children and Gardens and God.

If you don’t have children to invite into your garden.

I hope you’ll find some

To teach about nature

And grace.

Happy Easter,

Gail

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Filed under Easter Baskets, Easter Egg Hunt, Garden House, Gardening Friends, Redbud Trees, spring, Spring Flowering Bulbs, tulips

Easter Egg Hunt

I love gardens

And children

So it is with great joy

that once again we hosted

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The 1st Presbyterian Church Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday.

My friend Kay is my partner for this.

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She gives her considerable talent, creativity, energy and education

To the children of our church each week.

She does the lion share of the work for this event

Along with other talented friends.

Four generations of friends, neighbors and church members gather for the fun.

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When you think of it, what better place for an Easter event

Than in a garden.

But you may recall I was concerned that because Easter is so early this year

That my garden wouldn’t “look good”.

The grass was not picture perfect green.

Actually it’s mostly brown and still crispy.

Just a few things are blooming

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Forsythia, hellebore, pansies and violas

And plants are just emerging from their winter’s sleep.

When will I ever learn that I am not in charge here!

God has it covered…every time.

God…and Kay

She had many activities and stories.

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All of which told the story of Easter

Resurrection and new birth

From the live grass for the Easter baskets

Planted a month ago during Sunday School

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To the annual Lady Bug release

(Aphids don’t stand a chance in this garden)

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To enacting butterflies emerging from their cocoon

(A card table covered with a brown cloth)

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Learning about and experiencing nature

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Taking flight.

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Is there a better way to spend a glorious spring Saturday

Than to create memories for children and adults

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To experience nature

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And God

What a gift.

Happy Easter,

Gail

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Filed under Butterflies, Easter Baskets, Easter Egg Hunt, Forsythia, Hellebores, Lady Bugs, Uncategorized, Violets

ANTICIPATION

Remember that old ketchup commercial?

An upside down bottle

Cap off

Carole King singing “Anticipation” in the background.

But the ketchup just wouldn’t come out.

This spring  feels like that ketchup.

It just can’t get started.

And so we awoke this Palm Sunday morning

To yet another snow.

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After all it is still  March!

But I’m just a little anxious.

The fact that I’m having the church Easter Egg hunt next weekend

And my yard hasn’t even been scalped

Is driving me just a bit!

So today I did a little “snow gardening”

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Yes, it was cold.

And windy.

But after putting on tights, pants, sock liners, socks, boots, wool sweater, coat, glove liners, gloves & ear muffs

Combined with sunshine and a wind block.

It was pretty toasty out.

Smiling violas kept me company

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Just waiting for companion tulips to appear

The leaves were wet with snow

But they rack up just like dry ones.

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And there is life beneath.

The hope of spring

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Of garden days to come.

Of blooms to breath in

And share

Of life!

Sunshine’s on it’s way.

Enjoy the week.

Gail

 

 

 

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Filed under Easter Egg Hunt, Forsythia, Hellebores, Rake, spring, Uncategorized, Viola, Winter Garden

EASTER EGGS

There is a long legacy of eggs in my family.

When I was growing up we raised chickens.

And as a result – eggs.

It was a family effort. 

Daddy raised the chickens

Mother, Pat, Ann & I gatherer, cleaned, candeled and sold eggs.

Ann, me, Pat and Mother gathering eggs late 1950's

I still have one of the wire egg baskets from those days

As well as that chicken nest in my garden house.

Perhaps that’s why my mother loved to die Easter eggs.

Every mother does things for their children at holidays.

Creating memories and all.

But I’m pretty sure that Easter egg dying

Was actually for mother.

I just don’t remember any other college students

who came home to die Easter eggs.

I think she did it even if we weren’t there!

So it’s with that heritage in mind that I volunteered

to have the Easter Egg Hunt for the children at my church.

Now granted no child in 2012 would be happy with a hard-boiled egg.

Even if it was died turquoise with their name etched with a wax pencil.

But it’s an Easter Egg Hunt just the same.

And I couldn’t have a bunch of kids in my garden

Without giving them a little gardening lesson.

So we added a lady bug release to the activities.

Aphids attacked my roses right on cue.

So the lady bugs had plenty to eat.

We divided the 20 plus children into 3 groups.

Three adults were strategically placed around the garden.

Each had a watering can full of water.

On cue they and the children watered an area of the garden path.

Then along we came with the bag of lady bugs.

They had been chilling in my refrigerator since the Fed Ex man delivered them on Wednesday.

Thank goodness we didn’t put the eggs on top of them!

Now, I’ve been doing lady bug releases in my garden for years.

Ever since my friend and neighbor Patti discovered Buglogical.com.

She and I would share an order each spring.

Lately, the neighbor children have come to share the fun.

But….

I’ve never done this with quite so many children.

 

So, I was a little concerned.

You never know how a child will react.

Or adults for that matter. 

When lady bugs feel the warmth of your hands

They awake from their sleep and begin crawling.

Usually up your arm.

All of these children loved it.

They were – shall we say – naturals!

Children, parents, grand parents even great grandparents had a splendid time.

 

A time for friends old and new, children, bugs and all that is ours in nature.

Easter – telling and sharing the good news.

Experiencing life in a garden.

It was a good day.

Happy Easter.

Gail

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Filed under Bugs, Easter Egg Hunt, Gardening Friends, Lady Bugs, spring, Uncategorized