Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Joyful blooms

This summer heat wave is making me really crabby. (Seriously, a heat index of well over 100 degrees? Not even being able to check the mail without breaking a sweat? No thank you!) So I decided to focus on an aspect of summer that always makes me smile: pretty plants and the opportunity to work with them.

From the time we purchased our house, Brad and I have enjoyed gradually settling in and making it feel more like home. During the warmer months, that means we're even claiming the yard as well. This summer, we outlined the landscaping that Brad did a year ago with some brick-like "bullets." I think the trim makes the design look much more finished.

When Brad planted the Autumn maple tree (above right), he moved the little magnolia bush and ground cover to the other side of our garage. We've had quite a few blooms this season, but they haven't lasted too long. I'm hoping next year it'll be covered in flowers.

Since I had recently discovered that I really love watching plants grow (God is so visible!), my birthday wish was for a flowery tree to go on the left side of our driveway. I thought I really wanted a cherry tree, since they're so pretty, but the guy easily convinced me to get this hydrangea bush (pruned to resemble a tree) when he said that the blooms last much longer. More flowers make me happy; Sold! It has already grown quite a bit since April, and the little bushels of tiny white flowers are slowly developing. (Note to self: I need to take a current picture.)

Because it was my birthday, the nice (and very knowledgeable) flea market nursery guy let me choose from a host of additional small bushes for free! We chose this pink weigela bush, because pink is my favorite color of flower we knew it would look great in the place of our faltering rhododendron, which we had to move to the back of the house where it gets less light. (And where it is now thriving! Even if it remains unphotographed. Another note to self...)

The azaleas lining the front porch really showed off this year! It's so fun to see plants that we placed there last year come back all on their own (with a lot of  help from their Creator) just to exhibit God's glory. It is actually when these came into bloom that I really learned of my love for working with plants and flowers. It's like witnessing a miracle! And it serves a visual reminder of God's redemptive nature to bring forth beauty where there once was none.

Lilies of all kinds are my very favorite flowers ever (followed closely by tulips), and when these determined stalks surprised us by unexpectedly sprouting out even through a weed barrier and the rocks we had previously laid, I was thrilled! I don't know where we have been all our lives, but it simply didn't occur to us that these flowers would reappear this year. But now I know that bulbs come back and multiply year after year. I guess those "common knowledge" things have to start sometime!

I can't remember exactly what these cute little flowers are (geraniums? anyone?), but they're the perfect "welcome home" on our front porch. This picture was taken immediately after I planted them, but they've since gotten so big that they hang outside of the basket and take up about half of the vertical space. Oh, I just love to watch things grow!

To let that "God automatically makes bulbs reappear and multiply" lesson sink in even further, our day lilies have recently exploded! Last year, we planted six in this area, and this year we must have well over ten plants blooming like crazy. But, seeing as how I looo-oo-ooove lilies, I'm absolutely ecstacic! Brad says that if they keep this up, we may have to relocate some, though. We're thinking of removing the rock in that little section and adding some of the day lilies to the other lilies and just having a lily patch right there. At this rate, it would fill up that area in no time! And a lily patch is right up my alley. The only thing that could make it better, is a few tulips thrown in for good measure.

If our neighbors ever see me come home from work, I'm sure they wonder what in the world I'm doing, because I drive so slowly into the garage, providing me enough time to take a good look at every plant as I pass. When it's not 100 degrees out, I'll pull in and then walk around the whole yard checking out each flower and leaf, noticing any new buds that may have sprouted during the day. It's like they're my little babies or something.

I think flowers are such a wonderful gift from my Father. It's like He just wants me to know how kind, loving, generous, powerful, and creative He is. I mean, generally all women like to receive flowers as a gift from the man they love; I look at flowers growing in the earth as gifts directly from the One who truly holds my heart, as an expression of his love for me. What an incredible blessing.

There. That was just the refocus that I needed in order to break me away from this heat-induced grumpiness. Thanks for your help. 


Michael & Virginia said...

So beautiful!

When we bought our house it was right in the middle of fall and we had no idea, until the Spring time came and all of these flowers popped up all over our yard. Love lillies and stargazers -- and we have tons of them... Irises too! You should plant some of those - they are absolutely beautiful! We need to seriously landscape them - but have planned all of that for next year. Thanks for the decor inspiration.(c;

emily said...

i've always wondered why you drove soooo stinkin' slow in your driveway! ;) j/k!

your flowers are BEAUTIFUL and i'm glad i get to enjoy them, too! :)

Kristen said...

I feel the same way about our flowers. They really are amazing to watch! And I was so giddy when my calla lily came back this year!! It's so fun to start looking for the next ones to bloom...we love our vinca, too. Not the vinca vines - the regular vinca...they look kinda like impatiens, if that helps any. They looove the heat. Which is extremely helpful, right?? Amen. We were excited that they came back this year, even though they weren't really supposed to. =)

Dad said...

That hydrangea bush/tree sure looks good!

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