Opening Up

I’ve grown an unknown crinum lily for many years.  It’s a passalong from my parents’ garden and I’m certain that it was my mom who bought or was gifted this lovely thing, as flowers were the key driver to her gardening passion.  Dad liked his veggies, green shrubs, and fruit trees, but Mom was all about the blooms.

For a long time after I planted it, the crinum didn’t bloom.  Of course, I was disappointed; similar to my mom, blooms are boss in my gardening heart.  But I like the foliage and have contented myself with appreciation of its beauty.  The glossy, arching, bright green foliage emerges in spring from large bulbs and by late spring, and through the remainder of the growing season, are lush and graceful focal points in the garden. 

In the last few years, the crinums’ years-long sulk over growing in a new home has ended and it has relented its stubborn non-bloom policy, adding some spring-pink to my hot July garden.  The bloom stalks appear, seemingly overnight and I never notice the soon-to-be blooms until shortly before they open up.

The buds tease, at first pointing deep pink toward the summer sky, eventually weighing heavily enough to gently bend their stems in a bow.  The petal tips purse for a kiss, the flowers take time to reveal themselves in full.  But within a day or so, the bell-shaped beauties unlock, curl outward, and soft pink opens itself to the world.

While not a strong attractor of pollinators, I’ve seen a few carpenter bees nose around the inner workings of the flowers; I don’t know if their interest was rewarded with any treats of pollen or nectar.   I typically like my plants to feed something, to serve a purpose more than beauty.  But if the crinums’ role are limited to being pretty faces in the garden, with no real offering of sustenance, I’m fine with that. 

I’m rewarded in early-to-mid summer with these charming flowers and for most of the year with the foliage of this tough and attractive plant.

Thanks Mom and Dad–for your flowers and your love.

It Brings Joy: Wildlife Wednesday, July 2020

It’s the first of the month, my chosen time to celebrate wildlife and I almost missed the date.  The garden and greater outdoors remain a balm for me, a place to feel calm and to escape the world’s problems.   My own life has been a bit rocky and definitely busy these past weeks.  The Hub had surgery–something we knew was necessary.  There have been some set backs, but we’re feeling positive that he’s on a road to recovery. Thankfully, he was able to get in, get it done, and get home in between the initial onslaught of the Covid-19 craziness and the Covid-19 tsunami that is now engulfing Texas.  Crap leadership, or really no leadership, at both the national and state levels have rendered this land crippled in ways that I can hardly comprehend.

Not to go all-in on a geek-out, but there’s a conversation in The Lord of the Rings where Frodo and Gandalf are discussing their particular situation in Middle Earth and I’m feeling some camaraderie with their sentiments: 

 

Frodo:I wish the ring had never come to me, I wish none of this had happened. Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times but that is not for them to decide, All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

 

Frodo might have had orcs, trolls and an evil eye to overcome, but we have our own bad actors and evil-doers who are in great need of vanquishing.  It’s time to decide what we’ll do with our time and situation, and so, like many before us, it’s shoulders’ squared and forward march into a better world.  We’ll add some masks to that and a change of leadership to something resembling competence, and maybe we’ll get through this crisis.

For the time being, I’ll share this bit of wildlife joy from a recent early morning stroll in my garden.  This female/juvenile male Black-chinned Hummingbird, Archilochus alexandri, enjoyed breakfast at a Red yucca, Hesperaloe parviflora, as I watched nearby.

I didn’t even see the winged wonder at first, but it wasn’t particularly shy, spending several minutes at the flowers, just feet away from me.

I see hummingbirds almost daily in my garden and they always bring great joy to me as they go about their lives.

Go out in the garden–it’ll make you feel better.  Happy wildlife gardening–stay safe and be well!

Faux Pas

You know how it is: you’re with a group of friends, hanging out, talking and laughing–keeping some distance, of course–and then, you say something stupid.

Ooops!

Been there, done that.  I wonder if the sunflower blushed?

Even when committing a flower faux pas, sunflowers evoke joy and elicit smiles.  I’m joining with Anna and her Wednesday Vignette.  Pop on over to Flutter and Hum for garden stories of all sorts.