I don’t know anyone that does not like surprises. The fact that someone thought enough of you to do something nice for you is enough to make even the grumpiest among us smile. This past Wednesday I was feeling particularly grumpy. My work had been one problem after another. I did not get out of the office until late so I did not get home until it was almost dark. I was both stressed and exhausted by the time I pulled into the driveway. As I walked out to the mailbox I could see that something was different. Since it was beginning to get dark I couldn’t immediately put my finger on what the difference was but I had that uneasy feeling that I always get when my wife says “Do you notice anything different about me?” As I got closer I was able to determine that the “something different” was a five gallon hibiscus sitting in the middle of my yard. I couldn’t help but smile.
The lovely blooms of this hibiscus will always remind me of the kindness of a friend
As I walked toward the plant I tried to figure out who would leave me such a lovely gift. As I came up to it I realized there was more! Whoever left the hibiscus also left a lovely book on Texas Natives, a touching little inspirational book called “The Dash” and a native Texas coral bean called Erythrina herbacea.
My gifts came from a long-time reader from Giddings, Tx. He is what I like to call a serious hobbyist. He loves horticulture and he grows a variety of ornamentals, Texas natives and unusual succulents. He also has a knack for finding odd and rare plants growing in his local area. Over the past few months we have become big e-mail buddies and he has even dropped by to visit.
The buds of the hibiscus are almost as attractive as the flower they release
This act of kindness made my day. Since both of the plants he left me are perennial, I will enjoy them for years and remember his kindness each time I look at them. I truly love the plants and I was touched by his thoughtfulness. However, I enjoyed the books just as much. The little inspirational book is based on a poem by Linda Ellis called “The Dash”. “The Dash” is a lovely poem about striving to live a good life.
This poem has been around for a while. However, it is truly inspirational and it picked me up, and reminded me of what is truly important, just when I needed it most. Many thanks to my friend from Giddings for this thoughtful gesture. I am very glad that you decided to share a little of “your dash” with me.
Sometimes the back of the flower is just as lovely as the front
This post has been shared on the HomeAcre Hop. Hops are a great way to quickly gather lots of gardening and homesteading information from bloggers across the web. Please check it out!
“My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah my foes and oh my friends-It gives a lovely light!” –Edna St. Vincent Millay
A couple of times of year I know exactly how Edna St. Vincent Millay felt when she wrote those words. Lately my life has been a big mess of pressure and hurry up. I am glad to say that after today I can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Regardless of what happens at work tomorrow I am loading my sweetie into the car and heading off to The Southern Garden History Symposium in St. Francisville, LA tomorrow afternoon. While we look forward to all of our little get aways, this is one of those where we feel like we have actually earned it!
This latest bout of “busy-ness” has kind of robbed me of the best fall bulb season I have ever had. I have been propagating oxbloods (Rhodophiala bifida), spider lilies (Lycoris radiata) and yellow spider lilies (Lycoris aurea) for years. Over the past few weeks my bulbs have bloomed in record numbers and their petals have been bright and gloriously colorful. I have been planting and dividing these southern heirlooms for several years now and Mother Nature finally rewarded my efforts – and I was too busy to take the time to enjoy it!
I don’t want to sound like a whiner. As the old saying goes “You can curse the rose bush because it has thorns or you can thank God that the thorn bush gives us roses”. I am very thankful that God sent me the best bulb season ever. While I might not have been able to spend as much time with them as I wanted, I did get to see them and I am truly thankful for that.
This “missed” bulb season has me in a bit of a melancholy and reflective mood. One of the things that kept us busy this past month was the birth of our first grandchild. He was born to two exceptional young people. My daughter is working on her PhD and her husband is finishing his residency. THEY are extremely busy people. Looking back from where I am now I know that I did not take the time to truly slow down and observe the miracle of my own children’s new life. Now, I wish I had. My prayer for them is that they do not repeat my mistakes. Life is beautiful! Whether it comes in the form of a precious new baby or in the form of a beautiful new flower. It is beautiful and it is fleeting.
My friends, slow down!!!! Take time to watch the flowers bloom! Hold your children, and smell them! There is no better smell in the entire world than a new baby! It may be many, many years before you get to smell it again. Tempus Fugit, Memento Mori!!!!
P.S. If you have figured out how to actually take my advice, please leave me a comment here or on Facebook!