Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fleurs de Chedwick

A bouquet from Ched's garden. Even if your garden is terribly neglected, the spring flowers still appear.

My dad loved lilacs and told me how his grandmother always wore corsages on Sundays. He recalled her showing him how to make one out of lilac and white flowers one spring, and from then on he liked white flowers and lilacs best. I've planted over a dozen lilacs and have many patches of these white dicentra~ 'Dutchman's Breeches' (aka Lady in the Bath.) One lilac on the sunny south side of our house blooms early, some years as early as April 1st. There is also a white daffodil in the picture.

My paternal grandmother just loved pink dicentra (aka bleeding hearts.) There is sweet woodruff in the background of this picture with teensy fragrant white blooms. I try to plant it as a ground cover here and there. As a kid, tulips and apple blossoms were among my personal favorites, and I associate lily of the valley with my oldest sister, who was mad for those tiny fragrant bells.

Now that I have tended them, I really appreciate roses. Merle's roses have been blooming like crazy, but I'll have to wait patiently for about a month to see the rosebuds opening up in my garden. The red rose was my mom's favorite ~ my other sisters prefer spring flowers like daffodils and hyacinths, Easter Lily and crocus. My oldest brother loves a bright colorful bouquet of gladioli, and my other brother is color blind, so many flowers just look grey to him-- he goes by scent, the shape of the flower and petal texture, and so appreciates flowers in his own way.

In the Catskills everything is 2-3 weeks behind us, the lilacs there are no where close to blooming. If I time it right, I can enjoy the first spring flowers all over again as these slowly fade.

Tip: take a small bucket of water with you when you pick flowers (especially roses and peonies) dunk the head of the flower into the water~ this removes all of the bugs from the blossoms. Then cut the roses a second time under water before putting them in a vase. They'll last longer if the stems suck up water during cutting instead of just being exposed to air. If anyone has any other flower tips, please leave them!