The day is filled with solitude and calm. The sky, a brilliant heather blue, bodes wispy white clouds that float along giving the appearance of trailing smoke from a cooling chimney in the winter time… yet temperatures today are near 75 degrees with a gentle breeze that is crisp and clean.
I can hear the screech of a black bird overhead trying to scare away the Robins and Cardinals who’ve taken refuge nearby… all eyeing the bits of fruit, nuts and seeds that rest inside the bright orange bird feeder at the corner of the deck.
The rustling of the water falling over the rock bed and spilling into the small kidney-shaped Koi fish pond at the base of the rocks, lends a serene sense of calm. The water lilies have multiplied and show off their lavender blooms early in the day.
I wish everyday could be like today, with time to enjoy all of God’s handy-work.
Lush palm fronds from the “Boston Ferns” drape heavily over the edge of their hanging baskets; while orange, yellow and peach “Gerbera Daisies” burst with color and stand up tall on their tippy-toes inside a jade blue and green urn.
The Gerbera’s wave their outstretched petals like messy fingers from an afternoon of finger painting. They’re holding their little arms high, so as not to get their leafy green foliage covered in paint…almost screaming “Hey Mom, look at me!” They’ve become my surrogate children you know… these darling daisies that surround me.
The yellow “Marigolds” are unassuming yet magnificent in their own right; as they sit quietly minding their manners in the center of a small whiskey barrel; while their more outgoing younger “Portulaca” siblings keep the conversation flowing in hues of pastel pink, terra-cotta, deep coral, lemon sherbet and cherry red.
The songbirds begin to add glory to the day; whistling and singing, calling out to their colorful cousins. In a nearby medieval gray concrete planter with a raised coat of arms bearing the family heritage… purple “Starburst Daisies” amplify the bird songs like a trumpet; sending the music down to the dapper dressed “Red Begonias” on the step below.
Squirrels scamper across the top of the deck posts waiting for an opportunity to close in on the feast that has been spilled onto the deck by the birds. A Grackle, a Cardinal and a Wren join the squirrel and take turns swooping down to the feeder; nibbling on a few bits for themselves and then obviously taking pieces back to a nest hidden away in a tree close by.
Like good little children, they don’t cause any commotion. They mind their manners and wait their turn. But then there is always one little stinker in the bunch as the “Blue Jay” makes his bold entrance…scarring away the others as he breaks line and eats his fill.
Seven coral azaleas wait patiently in their containers for their turn to be placed into the ground. Shaded from the sun’s rays by the salsa striped patio umbrella…they long for a shawl of fertile soil to drape at their shoulders, as the cool breeze begins to shed some of their blooms. I keep telling them it won’t be long now.
Oh, and we can’t forget the peach “Hibiscus” that resides proudly in an urn near the base of the brook. She’s the oldest and except for the birds, has traveled the farthest to join our family. She speaks mostly in the morning and then curls up for a nap at the end of the day, resting her blooms inside the Kelly green leaf blanket that she brought along with her. I’m sure it gives her comfort; being so far from her tropical home.
The crimson red “King Canna” are beginning to awaken from their long winter’s nap too; sending their stalks up through the earth first… testing the waters to make sure it’s o.k. to wake up the rest of the clan. The Canna will give privacy and a gorgeous backdrop for the mass planting of “Red Begonias” that is soon to come.
The white “Indian Hawthorne” and the lavender “Hydrangeas” afford a much-needed hedge; while the “Hasta” stand guard at the base of a new Bloodgood Maple tree. She took the place of a tired, old, weeping Crepe Myrtle that had to be put to rest last season. We miss her cherry pink blooms but have gained a different kind of beauty from the lacey leafed maroon Maple.
Dressed in variegated colors of green and maroon, the “Caladiums” in the north bed beckon to the lacey “Laurapetalum” as if to say “come on let’s play”. You can almost hear the music that has them holding hands and dancing in the wind.
And last, but most definitely not least is the “Carolina Jasmine”, resonating a sweet honeysuckle scent when in full bloom… she is now bound to a stake at the southwest corner of the deck. “Carolina” likes the morning shade but loves the warm afternoon sun the best. Soon she will be trailing off on her own; casting her golden blooms in the sun. She gives me so much joy and I look forward to watching her grow too.