• Last modified 449 days ago (May 16, 2019)


ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY: Thanks for your flowers

© Another Day in the Country

This morning I sat at my breakfast table enjoying a beautiful bouquet of peonies that my friend Phyllis brought to Centre’s annual Artful Eye Show Friday night. They were only buds still and when she handed them to me she said, “They are my first peonies. I hope they will bloom out for you.”

And “bloom out” they did!  Lindsborg, where she lives, is south of Ramona, so mother nature is evidently warming things up a little quicker there.

The handful of pink peony buds with the black and white polka dot ribbon tying them together urged me to go out and check on the flowers in my yard. My peonies are thankfully putting out buds. Last fall I had to replant them because the mulch on the flower beds had gotten too deep for the peony bushes’ wellbeing.

When I think of peony flowers I always think of Jakie. We no longer own his “peony patch with a house” but I watch for them to raise their heads and bloom every spring. He was always so proud of them.

“Sveethearts,” he’d say to us, “You just pick armfuls of those peonies and put them in your bedroom. That’s what my Missus always did.”

And we — who had no peony bushes of our own in Ramona at that time — would gladly obey.

When I went out to check on the peony plants, I found other flowers blooming to add to my bouquet on the table. There were bluebells lovingly dug up by my mother when she was still living in Oregon and sent with us to plant, years ago, in her hometown.

The irises in my yard are just beginning to bloom and I found some dwarf irises that are purple and white — beautiful things. It’s the plant that is small while the flower still blooms full size. I just love them.

When my friend Jan sent them to me she said, “We dug up the irises at Mom’s house after she died and I’ve got boxes of tubers. Here’s a sampling for you to plant at your house in Ramona. I have no idea what kind they are.”

When the box came, I was ecstatic! I planted irises all over and still had some left over so I asked my neighbor David if he wanted some. He planted the rest.

When spring came, would you believe that I’d given David all those purple and white irises? I guess they were the first to go into the box. I had to ask for some back so I’d have one in my yard.  They’ve multiplied, as irises do, and now they are tucked in spots in several yards, gracing us with their presence and the accompanying memories of loved ones every year.

That’s what flowers do! They bloom where they are planted — and not just for the caretaker of the yard. They bloom for anyone who will stop for a minute and notice them. I didn’t realize until I moved back to Kansas that irises have a fragrance. I’d always considered irises “junk flowers,” growing anywhere on anything — tough “filler plants” that nothing could kill. However, irises are like orchids. If you stop and consider them, they are absolutely exotic and they have a fragrance — some lovelier than others.

There was a guy in California whose home was on the Silverado Trail. I never met him but I’d see him out weeding and planting flowers in the spring. He had a thing for gladioli and he would plant several rows of them along the highway.

His house sat quite a ways back from the road. I doubt if he could even see those flowers from his front porch; but he still planted them out there for the folks passing by to enjoy. For years, I drove by his gladioli and marveled at how beautiful they were. It even inspired me to try and plant some in my yard in Kansas, but wind just played havoc with my attempt. Long stalks were going every which way and then I’d forget to dig them up in the fall and they’d freeze. But in California, they don’t freeze! He gave those blooms as a gift to others.

Someone, long ago, planted lilacs on the main street of Ramona. It might have even been my grandpa’s brother who lived in a little house north of the bank building. He and his kin are long gone but the lilac bush is still there. This year the lilacs made the whole town smell good!

Flowers are just meant for sharing. When I see a bunch of particularly lovely flowers I can’t help but pick some to bring indoors. There’s a certain joy in choosing just the right vase for them — I have a cupboard full to the brim just waiting for an occasion. Now put them on the table and have a cup of tea — preferably with a friend, on another day in the country.

Last modified May 16, 2019