Pretty in Pink~

“Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time ~ like to have a friend takes time.” *Georgia O’Keefe

An afternoon, a blue, cloudless sky, and time… time to see! The first days of summer have tip~toed in, offering a break from the rain and an opportunity to ponder ‘pink’. In my flower beds and boxes, pink blossoms tumble out and turn their faces to the sun. I imagine they are feeling cozy in the warmth, as I am as I stroll around, snipping spent blooms and checking soil moisture. I love to visit with them as I tend, not expecting a response, of course, but to encourage them to carry on, it’s only June, you know!

Great~Grandma Pederslie’s Old Fashioned Rose

Thirty years ago, my grandma’s last brother passed away, leaving the family home on Meadow Lake to his surviving nieces and nephews, of which my dad was one of 15. The place was sold and items dispersed accordingly. This rose rambled beside the old garage. I brought a start home and it grows kind of wild in the corner of my picket fence. It looks like the flowers we made from crepe paper when we were kids. Petal upon petal releasing the absolute, most beautiful fragrance. One rose in a vase scents an entire room, so think of how lovely this corner smells! I gave one to our PUD meter reader yesterday, she took a whiff and said, “Oh Grandma!” Yep.

Jill ~

My sister gave me a start of this pink flower. She called it ‘Lamb’s Tongue’. Bright pink flowers and silver foliage that is soft as velvet might be classified as a weed, but I prefer wild flower. Jill was a flower child and a creative soul and I love having a piece of her to speak to on an early summer day.

Dianthus~

Dianthus! So now that I am taking time to ‘see’ the flower, I notice the edges of the petals are jagged. I am picturing garden fairies with tiny pinking shears trimming them up on moonlit nights. How sweet these fairies are, don’t you agree?

Foxgloves!

See the foxglove… the outer bell is luscious pink, the inner, pale with a speckled throat. I see tiny hairs along the rim, I have never noticed these before! I love to watch the bees in these tall spires, it must seem a smorgasbord to them. This time of year the road sides are a feast for the eye dotted with this majestic wilding.

Ground Cover ~

This little cutie was purchased as a ground cover to grow around the stepping stones. It’s touted as a ‘step~able’. Could you step on these little sweeties? I can’t!

Impatiens~

This is my favorite shade loving annual. I love her spunky nickname, ‘Dizzy Lizzy’ and her blooms that never need dead heading. I buy full seed flats in the spring, and plant the little starts just a few inches apart, so by midsummer she’s a mound of pink beauty.

Million Bells ~

As much as I love impatiens in the shade, I adore Calibrachoa for the full sun. How can these dainty flowers not only survive but thrive in the heat? I myself might wilt a bit, but these troopers carry on. They look like mini petunias, but unlike those sticky sisters, they don’t get leggy and they also don’t require dead heading. They come in so many colors, some single, some double, it’s fun to mix them up in containers and watch them mingle. Their bright color attracts the hummingbirds, which is a much loved added bonus!

Geranium ~

Another old favorite is the geranium. From a distance it appears to be a softball sized flower, but when we really look, we see a flower head consisting of mini flowers opening in unison on sturdy stems. Yes, they do need to be dead headed to enjoy them all summer. A quick snap of the stem when the petals are spent, will encourage continued bloom. The geranium is also a good prospect for ‘wintering over’. It might be hard to think about as we just head into summer, but as we know, the seasons roll along, summer will blend into fall. I remember my grandma keeping geraniums on her back porch through the winter. They’d stay mostly dormant until she coaxed them back to life in the spring.

Gram’s Rose ~

This gem came from hubby’s childhood home in Gold Bar. His mom grew it by her garden gate, and now it climbs next to mine. Dark pink clusters of small fragrant roses, it is loved and enjoyed in our backyard.

An evening ritual is to wander my yard, bucket and snippers in hand. As I tend the flowers through the season, they reward me with continued blooms and natural beauty. The old saying ‘stop and smell the roses’ is great advice, take time, my friend.

Peace. Love. Amen.

Spring Flowers ~

“The Earth laughs in Flowers” *Ralph Waldo Emerson

I took a walk around my yard this morning. The sky is heavy with the promise of rain by noon. My peonies are already sagging with the weight of yesterday’s downpour. I wish I had caged them in before they got too big, but I do love that on breezy days they are free to dance. Peonies are such an old and beautiful flower. Two of mine came from my Grandma Goodie’s farm, and they were almost lost. Grandma had given up flower gardening and I took over the lawn mowing. One spring I noticed some spikey red growth poking their way through the lawn. “Oh, yes, those are my peonies.” she said with a chuckle as she pronounced ‘peeOHNY’. It’s a good thing they were so tenacious, I dug them up and brought them home, saving them from the lawn mower and here they bloom beautifully every year.

~ Pretty in Pink ~

Speaking of grandmas, many years ago I took my maternal Grandma Helen on a road trip ‘home’. Though her family moved often when she was young, she always felt home was a ranch on the banks of the Grand River outside of Lemmon, South Dakota, where her grandparents and extended family had homesteaded in the late 1800’s. We knew the farmhouse was long gone, having been moved into town years before when construction of a dam created Shadehill Reservoir and claimed the land, but we hoped to find the family cemetery to pay our respects. We stopped at a general store outside of town to ask for directions. Two fellows were playing checkers on a board a~top an old barrel (true!). They questioned our motives at first, but then decided we looked honest and pointed us in the right direction with the stipulation, that if you open a gate, close it again behind you! I still can hardly believe we found it, but from gravel road to dirt, we wound our way across rolling lands of waving grass, opening and closing gates as I drove, and there it was. High above the old homesite, surrounded by a rusting wire fence was the cemetery. We walked around the graves, reading names we recognized from family history; Smebaaken and Scholaas. Grandma read the names of her cousin Vivian’s baby brothers and spoke of what a treasure she was to her parents when she not only survived infancy, but grew up. In one corner was a sprawling lilac bush. I tugged a start from the sun baked earth, (toppling over backward if I remember right) and on the way back to the highway, filled a baggy with water from the Grand River and tucked the slip safely in the back seat. It took root at my house and every spring, my South Dakota lilac gives me more than beautiful, fragrant bouquets, it takes me back in time to that special trip with my grandma.

My South Dakota Lilac in Grandma Helen’s vase

Mock Orange is another treasured heirloom. I brought a twig home from grandma’s farm, stuck it in the corner by my front porch and she decided that would be a good place to grow. At grandma’s house, the bush grew big and lush beside her back porch. Grandma had the best clothesline, a pulley system attached to the wall reeling all the way out to an ancient maple tree in the field. With her sheets pegged firmly to the line, flapping in the wind whipping up from the river, Grandma would sit a spell on a stool she made out of wood from the collection in her woodshed. I know how much she loved that view of cityscape and river, pasture lands and Mount Baker. I imagine in spring she lingered to enjoy the sweet scent of mock orange. For me, the scent not only reminds me of our wonderful days on the farm, but it takes me across the Cascades to Leavenworth. My great~grandpa built a log cabin where my uncle lived and aunt Fran lived across the lawn in a tiny house. I can’t recall seeing a mock orange around there, and she was not a gardener, but breathing in that fragrance on my front porch is like climbing into a time machine. I am ten years old playing hide and seek with my siblings and cousins. My sister and I visit Leavenworth often and have met the fellow who calls the log cabin home. He is the perfect person for it. When he had to take down one of the pine trees in the yard, he had it milled and used the lumber in his kitchen remodel. His love for the place makes my heart so happy!

Grandma Goodie’s Mock Orange… can you smell it??

Another favorite in spring~time is Love in a Mist. I’m pretty sure the fairies sowed the peppery seeds. Just look at the feathery foliage and how the purple flowers open their faces to the sky. Look closely, I think I see a fairy now!

~ Love in a Mist ~

I cannot do a morning walk~about without speaking to my Foxglove… oh my goodness! I brought the seeds for the wildings home from a walk years ago and sprinkled them all over. I’ve never taken the time to count the number of flowers on these tall stalks, but the bees hum and bumble in and out all day. We don’t have foxes around here, but I do love to imagine a forest glade and small red pups slipping their gloves on to dance in the moonlight.

Foxglove…

Thank you so much for sharing my morning walk, I wish you a wonderful day!

Peace. Love. Amen.