I’ve waited five years for this lilac bush to bloom. Not every lilac bush does bloom–ever–whether it is fiction or fact. It could be for a number of reasons: Not having enough light where it’s planted, never a pruning date for the plant, the time of the last frost in the area, a diseased lilac, poor soil, a restricted root system… I was beginning to wonder if I had one that only put forth its warm-season green leaves each year. Where do I move it, I thought, then I was told that once moved to another location, it may truly never bloom–not even for a first time.
The age of my lilac is seven years old. I purchased it when it was two, a young plant, but one that I thought I’d have blooms that very season or in its third year. I think I know what the situation is in this case. It’s in partial shade, so it’s slightly leaning towards the side of the yard where the sun kisses it in the mornings and afternoons. It needs more love–from the sun, that is. My hands have already given affection and attention when needed. Its blooms this first year of show are not many, but they are breathtakingly beautiful and fragrant in the yard. I’ve held it’s clusters of small petals in my fingers with marvel and a memory.The memory I have is when my parents bought a tiny ‘farm’ where they planted a small fruit orchard on the south end of town. There were two mature lilac bushes, large ones, on each side of the front yard. From toddler-size to little-girlhood, my sister and I played tag around those lilacs–“ring-around-the-rosies”–and later played tag with our big brother’s Irish Setter around those bushes where the butterflies liked to linger when nobody was disturbing their blooms and wonderful scent and aroma of perfume that is natural.
Did we fall down? Yes, it’s part of the rhyme! You have to fall down… “Ring around a rosies, pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes, we all fall down!” There are different versions of the folklore, but that is how we said it and sang it when we played around the lilac bushes in our front yard.
I went back to see those same lilacs, in the same yard where I grew up, but they weren’t there. They were gone. My heart emptied to my feet, fell down to the ground because those were some of the best memories I had centered around the lilacs and the rosies.
This year, my own lilac bloomed in my own yard for the first time as though the timing was essential when I missed them the most, more than any other time as a grownup. I bought this lilac because of those that I played around at home. There are blessings in your own yard.
What are some of the best memories that you have of your childhood? From toddler to teen, what would they be?Another first for me this spring is raising rhubarb, to be able to harvest stalks this year for rhubarb pie. This is my third year having rhubarb but my first year to reap the rewards of gardening this glorious plant.I’m intrigued by this vintage-style garden creature, the transformation that it quickly grows into and changes as it readies itself for maturity, not only for rhubarb-strawberry pie but rhubarb fool with homemade whipped cream to sweeten the tartness. It’s the kind of plant among many like it that you can picture growing by an old clothesline post.For now, I have drift wood under its large leaves to gently lift from the ground so that the leaves don’t rot from getting too much moisture on their frilly edges. I aim to keep it as healthy for as long as I possibly can during its season of growth in order to yield a good harvest.My rhubarb plants are growing rapidly by the day. So far, success.I’ve done the same with horseradish and chives. I especially want the horseradish greens to stay clean and good since I put them in salads, even on sandwiches.A break from gardening–my kids requested fried potatoes and ketchup–nothing else. Mom’s choice of drink: Cold water in an Anheuser-Busch Doc’s Hard Lemon glass.A good tree to climb… I’ve transplanted kohlrabi from last year. I purposely did not harvest the vegetable, simply for the blooms for this year. I put the blooms in salads and other dishes of cooked meals for garnishing, the same with cabbage and broccoli. I harvest some of the vegetables’ bounty, but keep some plants untouched for the following year.When leaves are tender, they are edible, too; filled with many nutrients of vitamins and minerals.The great Don Juan, a tea rose, after a rain… I’m looking forward to its blooms this spring. I like how the raindrops set on the leaves.I like the all-green look of the currant bush, the stage that it’s in at the moment. The flowers are like little buttercups right now. The currants will grow from these. This is the prettiest that this plant has ever looked before it gets its tiny red berries that make a nice currant pancake syrup. It has a classy vintage style. I’m in love with this plant as it is, but at every stage. It puts forth a lot of fruit.
Each berry, as tedious as it is to pick, not a single one is wasted. I gather the ones off the ground if they get too ripe to stay on the vines. It is never a waste if they are still good. I’m usually in a race to get all the currants before the birds gulp them to eat for breakfast in the mornings.
The currant is related to a grape plant. It gets its tiny clusters of berries that resemble grapes, how grapes gather and collect on a cluster vine. They are extremely miniature in comparison to the Concord grape or any grape of standard size.Bartlett PearThis pecan tree has the look of an elephant. I dug up yellow daylily plants and transplanted them in a sunny location. I’ve made jelly and cake with their blooms, even put them on breakfast eggs and in salads. Hopefully this year, they will have larger blooms from being in the sun more often. They should multiply each year, more now, now that they will have a new living space in the sun; yellow and sun-happy.
[Enjoy the sun in your days–pink for breast cancer awareness.]Rose-Colored Glasses is for breast cancer awareness.