Companions

My cacti are blooming just in time for Good Friday. The prickly spines remind me of the crowning of thorns and bitter suffering of Jesus, but the lovely blossoms suggest resurrection — the resurrection of Jesus and the resurrection that each of us ultimately longs for.

The Vinca (Periwinkle) vines are bursting with new life. I started the plants last summer as small cuttings from another pot. All of my other pots were occupied at the time, so I stuck the tender shoots into the pot with the cacti. I wondered how they would get along.

They seem to like each other.

No man is an island…

Like so many of you, dear readers, I have been deeply saddened by the suffering in Ukraine, a suffering that extends far beyond its borders in an ever-widening circle. Yet, I stubbornly insist upon believing in hope. With so many people caring and helping in any way they can — there is always hope.

In honor of this tragic situation, I offer “Meditation XVII” by John Donne (1572 – 1631):

No man is an island,
Entire of itself;
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main;
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less,
As well as if a promontory were,
As well as if a manor of thy friend's,
Or of thine own were;
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind;
And therefore never send to know
For whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

Periwinkle

Even though the temperature is still dancing around 32ᵒ F in the night, the days are warming up. The first blossom has opened on my variegated vinca (Periwinkle), along with some healthy new shoots that will make good cuttings for future plants.

I love it when my garden gives me gifts to give to friends and neighbors.

Waking Up

At night, the temperature still falls to the mid-20s F. The violas and kale don’t mind.

Last summer I grew some tall sedum plants from cuttings provided by a generous neighbor. They completely died back when winter arrived, but now, tiny rosettes of future sedum plants are appearing in spite of the cold.

A few buds are gracing the violets.

They know spring is coming.

Night Gardens

I finally put up some outdoor Christmas lights. Of course, there had to be some blue lights, because our courtyard is Mary’s Garden.

And then there are the indoor gardens. My little lighted trees have appeared in various parts of the house.

I’m ready for Christmas.

Mostly Mums and Emma

Not much happening in the garden these days. A few Mums from Walmart help to liven things up.

On another front, here is our new puppy, Emma. The scar above her left eye is from a rattlesnake bite about a month ago. In a few months time, it will probably disappear as her hair, eyebrows, and whiskers grow back. Yes, I did say hair! She doesn’t have fur, so she doesn’t shed. The bad news is that she isn’t house trained — yet. Everything in good time. She’s a survivor.

Charmed and Delighted

Growing conditions are difficult in Southern New Mexico, so I am always charmed and delighted when a volunteer plant shows up in our garden. This year several rock rose volunteers have appeared in the courtyard, and living up to their name, they have chosen the most rocky and difficult locations in which to appear. All are descendants from the one pot of rock roses that I planted last year.

Almost Perfect

Every year, one of my potted arrangements outshines all the others. This year, my favorite pot is planted with Snapdragons, Marigolds, and Lobelias.

Alas, the magenta Calla Lilies (center back) and the pink Calibrachoa (back left) have finished blooming.

Gentle Reader, only God is perfect.

Eden

Yesterday, I worked in the garden until mid-afternoon. The heat of the sun made rivulets of salty sweat run down my face. I was too busy, too driven, too absorbed in my tasks to enjoy the day. Finally, satisfied with my labors, I retreated into the shade of the house to rest.

In the evening, I was drawn to walk in the garden. Suddenly, I was in Eden. I understood why God liked to walk in the garden in the evening. There was something about the soft evening light that made the colors of the blossoms and leaves so intensely vivid. The air was cool. Day was almost done.

There was beauty.