Okay to Touch Flowers & Your Heart

Last Saturday, I broke away from house-cleaning chores (and the news) and took a neighborly stroll down the street. I wanted to document this lovely redbud in bloom clad in a new garment of purple. This neighbor and I don’t speak the same language well, but I understood that it was a tribute to Jesus during Lent.

She’d come out front to let her two-week-old chicks scrounge around newly turned earth. Excitement needs no translation, and when she saw mine, beckoned me up to help babysit until their return to safety. Kindly, she pulled them away from their business for a quick cuddle with these joyful little wigglers.

Sunday was garden day to continue making rounds out back with pruners in hand (this weekend’s the front yard). It was a little hard to keep on task with such lovely distractions like native golden groundsel (Packera obovata), here with cheery, pollinator-beloved calendula.

I started with just a few from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s plant sale long ago. Heads up for this spring’s plant sale: April 17 for members and April 18.

Once their blooms are over, I’ll relocate a few to a similar spot of sun followed by dappled light.

Narcissus falconet extended the golden-hued strip of this island bed. Although they always return for me, this spring they were especially bountiful on strappy leaves, a nice foliar touch even before blooming.

Spiraea (spirea) contributed its bridal cascades. I planted this old-fashioned shrub years ago as a sentimental favorite. Although it wouldn’t be on my list today, it’s bullet proof through drought and deluge.

To keep it tidy, I trim its ambitious branches after blooming to about half its current height.

Although my Mexican honeysuckles (Justicia spicigera) are blooming so nicely, I need to sacrifice some of those gorgeous orange nectar tubes on gangly stems to restore them to dense foliage.

Good thing I’ve left some and haven’t gotten around to the others yet. Bees were all over them today!

And, these tiny blue insects, so small that they tucked right inside the long tubes.

Indoors, all my two-year-old Phalaenopsis orchid needed was a good drench with tepid water in the sink. And admiration!

I feed it every few weeks now with a high phosphorous soluble fertilizer. After blooming, I’ll hold off on fertilizer to let it rest and then feed every few weeks with a balanced formula. Watch our story of how orchid lovers keep theirs going in the office.

Thanks for stopping by! Linda