Saturday, March 31, 2007

Spring Flowers


One of the best things about spring hereabouts is the week when there is a carpet of tiny blue flowers along the street behind ours. Whole yards are filled with them. They pop up almost over night, linger a few days, then the grass overtakes them and they disappear for another year.

Every year I swear I'm going to take their photo. And every year until now I haven't managed. But today I went out between rainstorms and captured them.

Now maybe I can send their picture to the ag extension office and ask what they are. No one here seems to know -- and we have avid gardeners in this neighborhood. I'd think they'd know, but they don't.

The rest of spring is not far behind. Three days ago the first leaves on the lilacs opened just a smidgen. The daffodils are halfway up, their yellow heads, though, are still pretty tightly closed. Another week and they'll be splashes of bright color. They almost always coincide with my oldest son's birthday. His flower, we used to tell him when he was little.

This time of year, the still mostly bare trees with buds growing larger every day, the muddy ground with shoots just poking up, the grass just turning more green than brown reminds me of a first draft. There are hints of what is to come. There is promise, potential. There is also the chance of a killing frost.

Flynn and Sara had their killing frost last week when I threw out a quarter of the book. Well, really all the book that wasn't totally rough. But that's because they couldn't survive the way they were. They'd been a hothouse plant over the winter, coddled and pampered for months. But when they had to stand up out in the cool windy world, they didn't make it. Not the way they were. It happens.

The stronger plants -- like the stronger stories -- survive. I'm thinking this one is going to make it. I just hope it's blooming by the first of May!

Keep your fingers crossed. Send showers (not cloudbursts) and warm (not baking) temps our way. And hope that my life this month is not full of distractions.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Kate Hardy said...

Beautiful flowers. I'd love to know what they're called, too, as we have them over here (they appear on the roadside among the crocuses and daffodils planted by the council) and I've not managed to find out what they're called.

The other flowers I'm really into are summer ones called 'rain daisies' - they're like gerberas but they're lavender/pink and they close up when it's going to rain. I swear this year I'm going to put some in the front border...

Wishing you warm days and gentle rain at night. And a much, much better April than March has been.

01 April, 2007  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Thank you, Kate. If I find out what they're called, I'll let you know. While the "local name" may not be the same as yours, I'll make them give me the botanical Latin based one, too.

The 'rain daisies' sound gorgeous. I'll have to look for a picture of them. We don't have anything like you're describing here (I don't think we do, anyway).

Wishing you spring showers and lots of writing!

01 April, 2007  
Blogger Michelle Styles said...

They are scilla verna or spring squill. We have them all over the garden. They tend to be invasive.

Bluebells come a few weeks later.

I think they are quite pretty, don't you?

01 April, 2007  
Blogger Liz Fielding said...

Ah, Michelle beat me to it. We have a few in a raised bed in our garden. And yes, the bluebells will follow in May.

01 April, 2007  
Blogger christa said...

My son was born July 1 (Canada Day). I always told him they were setting off fireworks for him.
I love the spring and summer where all the new growth begins to show. Wisshing you the best weather you can hope for because or forecast calls for snow next w/e. Hello it's Easter we are not supposed to have snow at Easter.

01 April, 2007  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Thank you, Michelle and Liz! One of the joys of blogging. You just speculate about something and, voilĂ , you get an answer. Spring squill, huh? Doesn't sound quite as pretty as "bluebonnet" or some other nice name.

We don't get bluebonnets in Iowa that I've seen. In Texas where my daughter lives, they have fields of bluebells which are out in profusion now. Absolutely gorgeous. But I'll settle for our spring squill which I love. Blue and green are my favorite colors, so it's easy to see why I'm partial to them.

Christa, I'll bet your son loved having the fireworks for his birthday! What a treat. My grandfather was born on the 4th of July, so he also had a fireworks birthday. The daffodils were particularly suitable for this son as his name is David.

Snow? Easter? Say it isn't so! I was so hoping we'd seen the last of the fluffy white stuff. I'm still crossing my fingers that it will miss us. It's raining today. Again.

01 April, 2007  
Anonymous Kate Hardy said...

Michelle and Liz - I should've guessed you'd know. (I did some, ahem, research today and came up with scilla siberica. Now I know what they're called, I can buy some spring bulbs in September, then.)

Excellent. :o)

And brilliant of you, Anne, to get an answer to a question that's bugged me for ages. Thank you.

01 April, 2007  
Anonymous Kate H (yet again!) said...

PS - still on flowers - Latin name for the rain daisy is Dimorphotheca pluvialis - nice pic at http://www.imageslaflin.co.uk/photo_394497.html (but the ones in the gardens around here have a darker middle - they might be osteospermum. Liz and Michelle might know more!)

01 April, 2007  
Blogger christa said...

Well the weather at Easter has been downgraded to rain but still only 1'C and 4'C.

02 April, 2007  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Thanks, Kate. The rain daisy is beautiful. And I think we have the scilla siberica rather than the verna, judging from the pix. I'm glad to know its name, so thanks to Michelle, Liz and Kate.

Christa, I'm glad they've called off the snow (I hope). We've had "April showers" here on and off all day, but it hasn't been very cold -- yet.

02 April, 2007  

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