Category Archives: spring

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

The Many Sides of Rain

Spring rain

Has always been a blessing

To gardens

To the soul.

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After decades of gardening

And listening to thunderstorms

Move through the countryside

Just this morning

I realized

Another side of spring rain.

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It rained last night.

Most of the night I think.

So we woke up

To an emerald green world

On a cloudy Sunday morning.

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Any good gardener knows

After a good rain

It’s important when you walk through

Your garden.

To stay on the path

To keep from compacting the soggy soil.

Rain also means

That you won’t get to do much digging

For a day or two.

The result is that

Rain slows me down.

It focuses me on the beauty of the garden.

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Not the “to do” list

In my head.

Rain washes away the clutter

In my mind

So I can see.

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Really see.

Enjoy!

Gail

 

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Filed under Chive Blossom, Columbine, Grape Hyacinths, Hosta, Rain, spring, Uncategorized

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

GARDEN QUESTIONS

Blogging is a curious adventure.

Some weeks ideas pop into my mind

All week-long.

Other weeks

Like this one

The mind is a void.

Not an idea at all.

So with the clock ticking away

On this Sunday evening.

I simply went into the garden

Breezy evening that it is

And clicked away.

Like any garden stroll

Questions arise.

So tonight

We’ll just do a little review

Of what’s blooming.

And ask a few questions

That popped into my mind.

The roses continue to bloom

And thrill my soul.

The staples in my garden

Are Katy Road Pink

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And Belinda’s Dream.

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But this week

Some new and old friends

Have been making me smile.

In my quest to add yellow roses

Sorry Daddy (he disliked yellow roses)

Julia Child is happily blooming away.

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Then two that I dug and brought

From my old garden

Are the best they have ever been.

If only I knew their name.

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It’s poppy season here.

And the rosy red ones that dot my garden

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Remind me of my neighbor Patti

And the fun we had gardening

Back and forth over the fence

That attempted to divide our yards.

I can’t look at a poppy or a lady bug

Without smiling and remembering Patti.

Now for the questions

What’s the deal with the Redbud trees?

The are loaded

No, over loaded with seed pods.

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So much so that the branches are

Hanging even lower than usual.

It seems to be a good year for seed pods

Not only Redbuds

But the Silver Leaf Maple has produced

Enough “helicopters” to replant

The southern plains.

So…did you ever wonder

Why columbine has these funny little

Spear like things coming off

The back of the bloom?

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I’m not sure I really want to know the answer

To my questions.

You see

I love the mystery.

Of nature

And of life.

Gail

 

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Filed under Columbine, Gardening, Redbud Trees, roses, spring

THE LUSTY MONTH OF MAY

 

Every time I looked at my garden this week.

Alan Lerner’s words from Camelot

Kept going through my head.

“It’s May, It’s May

The LUSTY month of May.”

And lusty it is.

Roses

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Peonies

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Iris

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Columbine

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Allium

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I don’t know how Mother Nature pulls it off

But every year on Mother’s Day

My garden hits its spring stride.

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There is still much to come

But this week

It’s glorious.

With lots of blousy blooms.

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Perhaps it’s Mother Nature’s way

Of honoring mothers.

Those who nurture

And prod

And encourage things to grow.

Happy Mother’s Day

Gail

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Four generations of the women of my family circa early 1950’s

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Allium, Columbine, Iris, Peonies, roses, spring

TULIP TIME

One of the last things I do at the end of the gardening season each fall

Is one of the first things to bloom come spring.

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Tulips

It’s a gift we gardeners give ourselves.

Just at the end of the season

When we’re almost too tired to do another thing

And our knees really don’t want to bend down

Comes the time to plant Tulips.

Some years it’s hard to get it done.

But when spring comes I’m oh so grateful that I did.

Last fall I planted the path to the garden house

With my favorite varieties

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Packed the trenches

Covered them with pansies

And let them sleep.

We had also added a new bed on the landing in the front.

Which was planted with a new variety

Of tulips called French blend.

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They have proved to be perfect for this spot.

This variety bloomed a little later than those in the back.

Which has turned out to be a good thing.

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You see this is a very sunny place.

Surrounded by bricks

Without a drip line.

So the only thing I know to plant there for summer is periwinkles.

But since periwinkles don’t like cold wet weather

You have to wait till May to plant them.

So having a tulip that is still blooming

This last weekend in April works well.

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They’ll last a few more days

Then it will be time to pull them up

And plant again.

The cycle goes on.

Gail

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Filed under spring, Spring Flowering Bulbs, tulips, Uncategorized

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