My grandmother hated Florida — and she had no problem saying so. Just mention the Sunshine State and she’d routinely offer, without any coaxing, the following words.
“I hate Florida,” she’d say. “It rains on one side of the street, but not the other.”
My grandmother, by the way, never traveled to Florida. Never. Ever. All my she knew came courtesy of my grandfather, who did some basic training there before shipping off to Europe during World War II.
I love a rainy day, no matter the season. It’s the perfect excuse to curl up on the couch, nap a little or a lot and watch a parade of old movies. It’s also a chance to take a break from gardening chores — but not completely.
A rainy day, as it is as I’m writing this post, is the perfect time to get in the garden — to not only weed (easier to pull out) but to experience the garden in a different light. The whole world seems more organic — just water and earth and plants. I guess I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows.
This is the start of a very hectic week for me, so my writing time is limited. I hate when that happens, since writing is one way that I like to unwind from a busy day. In light of this, as well as the fact that I can’t figure out how to post a PowerPoint on the blog, I thought a walk around the yard and some photos would do me some good. Besides, it gives me a chance to play around with a different kind of post.
The truth is that this walk was an inventory of what still needs to be done. The beds are mulchless, and a weekend of rain and cool weather seems to have washed away most of the flowers and turned the lawn into a jungle. By the way, the cool weather was a bit of a shock, since last week was stifling hot. But that’s how the weather is on Long Island these days.
Nevertheless, the walk was a nice breather. And now, without further delay, are some photos of what’s blooming.
Here is Gazania (above), which I started from seed a few months ago. I was thrilled with the colors, and I’m looking forward for more of them to bloom.
This is a lace cap hydrangea (above). I picked it up a few years ago from Home Depot because it had red or burning in its name. To me, that meant it would have red flowers. In actuality, the branches have a hint of red. As you can see, it’s covered with blooms, but I’m never quite sure that I like it — since I was really hoping for red flowers. But when I see it covered with this:
then I have to admit that I love it. What’s especially nice is that as the flowers age, they seem to glow in the dark at night. It’s truly magical.
When I look at these photos, I’m stressed and relieved all at the same time. Stressed because there are those days and weeks when life takes us away from what we truly love and enjoy. Relieved because somehow, nature takes care of itself and it allows me time to stop and smell the roses.
When I woke up this morning, I saw that one of my peony plants had bloomed overnight.
Then, I saw the rain.
It’s safe to say that I have a love – hate relationship with rain, very unlike my love relationship with peonies.
I actually look at most rainy days with a sigh of relief, especially today’s since it’s been dry for a whole week. It means that I have a day off from watering. (In the same way that I’m one of the last hold outs in the lawn mowing department, I also drag a hose and sprinkler all over the yard. That’s a whole other post.) So I bring all the flower pots out from any sheltered areas and let them soak up the moisture, because a good rain is much more quenching than my Gunga Din efforts. Continue reading