It’s been snowing all bloomin’ day.
Everything’s covered with the fluffy white stuff, and it shows no sign of letting up.
If you’re a Southern Ontario gardner, this is not your favourite season — unless you’ve got one of those indoor greenhouse thingamijiggies and have already planted flower seeds.
I don’t have one of those things, so I opt for the least expensive flowers that can be bought at a store and will last a long time.
My pot of Cyclamen, bought last winter, bloomed and bloomed indoors till May, then continued to bloom outdoors through the summer. The secret is to keep the soil moist, but not wet. And at $5.99 at the nearby plant nursery, it was a gift!
As you may recall, my only real expertise in growing indoor plants is in getting Amaryllis bulbs to rebloom.
After their indoor bloom ends (soon, if not already), I water them regularly (adding fertilizer) and let the leaves grow. In spring, I bring them outside in their pots and water them till August. I then allow the leaves to dry, shake off the soil, and keep the bulb in a brown paper bag in the cellar for about four months before potting them again.
A bulb that costs $7.00 may give three different stems of blooms, then will rebloom at least once a year for a long time to come.
And then there’s This Thing Whose Name I Don’t Know. Sold as cut flowers in grocery stores for about $6 or $7 a bunch, this lovely flower has staying power. I cut the stems short and keep adding fresh water everyday, and these flowers bloom for nearly two weeks — a real achievement among cut flowers.
No doubt one of you readers will know what it is. The grocery store clerk didn’t.
My best wishes,
So much beauty.
Late summer, but the garden is still resplendent with colour.
The bees are plentiful and hard at work, drawn to fragrant hosta and almost everything else, it seems.
The trees are still green.
And there are blooms everywhere.
I give thanks for this season and the ability to enjoy it. Last summer, I had a bad concussion and broken bones from a sudden fall. Luckily, my husband and an old friend both took photos so I could see bits of the garden.
This summer, life has again challenged me greatly at times — as it does to many of us. Loved ones get seriously ill or die. Another fall. A lengthy medical assessment kicks off horrible nightmares and indescribable pain; I’m shocked to find myself again staring into the abyss. I shake my head and have a few frank words with God.
But weep ye not!
I’m determined to dwell, not on the bad, but on the good that’s around me. And there is so much good, so much beauty, to be thankful for.
My husband and children are healthy. They are caringly present, especially in rough times.
Most days I am, according to my husband, “strimping along”. (I insist I’m striding or strolling, not limping.)
My relatives, neighbours and friends are never far away.
We support each other.
I surprised one dear friend with a funny birthday gift and kept a promise to another. (Tiny acts, but I know they matter.)
My sisters and daughters called; we shared words of hope, love and reassurance.
And I’m still keeping the faith.
And the sun still shines in abundance.
My dear friend John
The gardener one
Has been unwell quite lately
And so I send
These flowers for him
The ones I think most stately
I know John may
Of course prefer
That flow’r that’s caused some conflict
Between us friends
And made me near
Become a horto-convict
For stealing John’s
That bloomed and bloomed all summer
While ours had been
A true disgrace
A non-performing bummer
But John, my dear
It’s cold out there
And vines are not in flower
So will you please
Accept these blooms
Now flow’ring at this hour?
They bring much love
And happy thoughts
Of better days before us
And best of all
They’ll bloom again
With gusto and with no fuss.
Dedicated to our dear friend John, in hopes that this excruciatingly bad poetry will make him laugh, and to his loving wife and son.