I have a lone strawberry plant in my backyard which is doing its very best to give me the flavor of fresh-picked summer. So far I’ve had 12 berries, but more are on the way. It is a “forever” plant so throughout the next two months, I may find one or two bright red berries every few days to keep that first warm berry taste in my mouth.
When I was a child on Dad’s farm, a few wild berries grew along the driveway. I watched them daily as they blossomed, formed green berries, and gradually turned red enough to pick. Wild berries are small, perhaps the size of my little fingernail, but twice as sweet as cultivated ones. If there were two berries or more, I’d share them with Mom and Dad. That very first taste made all that watching so worth it. It was the promise of more and of a sweet summer.
As an adult I continue to cherish the first taste of locally grown berries. Whether from my back yard, the Thursday farmers’ market or those from “pick your own farms,” they are a treasure.
When I have a dish of berries, I struggle deciding whether to make a biscuit shortcake, have them in a bowl with sugar, or just sit down and enjoy them one by one. It is a dilemma!
Find a nine-inch square of paper. When I was a child we used scraps
of wallpaper. Today I chose a piece of colored computer paper
1. Fold it into a triangle
2. With the fold toward you take one of the points and fold it to the middle of opposite edge.
3. Do the same with the other point.
4. Now fold the front flap of the top into the front bottom cup.
5. Poke or punch a hole into the top flap.
Now go outside and find flowers – even dandelions will be pretty. Tuck them into the pocket or cup you have made.
As children we would hang them on a friend’s door, knock, and then run and hide. The person coming to the door was surprised and hunted down the giver to thank them with a kiss.
* * * * *
You can use this cup for many things. It will hold a drink for a short time.
As a teacher, I always made them for children who lost a tooth at school. It could be safely stored in a lunch pail or coat pocket for the tooth fairy.
Mostly I remember the fun we had making these baskets at school and then going home to search for flowers. I’d beg my mother to let me go down by the creek where I knew the May flowers were in blossom along with purple, white, and yellow violets. I never really went alone because Chum, our cowdog, would not let me. He assumed the duty of protecting me no matter wherever I wandered.
Icicle lights have hung on the front of my porch since the beginning of Advent. Now they are gone back into hiding for several months. Christmas was four months ago, but the cold weather has remained. The question everyone in the Northeast is asking: When will Spring finally arrive?
My daffodils are up and in blossom, so I feel lucky. On a pleasant day a few weeks ago, I cut and pulled away the dead leaves from last year’s plants. The perennials in my small garden are sending up sprouts and tentative new growth, but they too are longing for warm weather to do their stuff.
The only plants that seem to have no problem are the grass and wild garlic. Of course, I don’t want them where they’ve chosen to grow.
The sky is gray. Where is the sun and warmth we seek?
Know this! It will get hot this summer and we will be moaning about it. It is always safe to complain about the weather. Wait a minute, day, or week—it will change.
Spring with its warm days is always my favorite time of year. I love to watch everything come back to life in the gardens. I welcome the dandelions, which bring the first splash of color. Later, I may hate the long stems and seeds flying around, but I love their bright yellow.
Gardening has always been a favorite activity. I had gardens in most of the homes my husband and I lived in. Some were small, others larger. We grew flowers and vegetables.
This week the church Memorial Garden committee met with the landscaper to pick out trees and bushes. Last fall the 40-year-old and over-grown ones were cut out. Our landscaper cleaned and replaced the pavers and outlined the cross shape of the garden with contrasting blocks. Monday, we picked out two dogwoods and other bushes for planting.
Today was designated as church clean-up day. This morning I spent over an hour helping plant perennials and annuals around the church. Unfortunately I ran out of energy and had to quit.
When I returned from the church, I looked at my own small raised bed and assessed its growth and what I should plant to improve it.
Finally, I have been looking the pictures I took during the twenty years I lived in my former home. Most of pictures were taken to put in my garden book to document the plants and their blooms at a given time. With an acre of land, I built several gardens. The last couple of years I lived there, I lacked the energy to maintain so many of them, and concentrated on fewer ones, which were close to the house.
Now I enjoy gardening my small plot for perennials, a small bed for tomatoes, and decorative boxes and pots on my porch.