Posts Tagged With: daisies

Construction Phase Complete. Wildflowers Run Amok!

It’s happened.  My wildflowers bloomed!

It makes me smile to look out and see sunshine growing right outside my front door.

Right now it’s happy African Daisies.  Bursts of yellow and orange wash across the front yard.  A few more weeks will bring the soft velvety orange of California Poppies.

wildflowers springJust today I noticed the first shoots on my red yucca plants. These become beautiful sprays of stems filled with succulent reddish-orange flowers. Once these bloom Hummingbirds hang out near them like kids near candy shops.

There’s a very small patch of low growing purple Lantana smack in the middle of this nonconforming riot of color. It’s supposed to spread out into a four or five foot swath every spring and summer, but this one’s been anemic and barely manages its bits of purple.  Maybe I need to have a daily chat with it, encourage it along, and tell it a couple of jokes.

Just to kick it up a notch

I’ve also got some pots near the front door filled with fun pops of bright annuals. And there’s a fifteen-year-old Pothos plant which was once an indoor dweller, but now lives in the shade outdoors. It could use a trim and a fresh topping of soil, but otherwise it adds a nice cool green to the mix.

On the other hand

The back yard is a work in progress. I’m grateful that a brick wall surrounds it almost six feet high.  I’ve planted my vegetable gardens but those seeds are being stubborn about sprouting. And I’ve got a decorative raised bed that’s got its own little story which I won’t go into, but I could do a whole post on. It’s a tale of woe and aggravation. You’d be bored, trust me.


Spring has sprung here in the desert. It’s a short-lived season of joy and jubilation before the blast of summer punches us full on.

I’m going to enjoy it while I can, every single day.

Categories: Gardening, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Weeds and Wildflowers

It’s Gratituesday! Today I’m thankful for the tiny green shoots of wildflowers I have popping out all over my front yard.  There’s a promise in those sprouting weed-like growths. I know even though they look like weeds, and grow like weeds, they aren’t weeds. They’re going to produce masses of yellow and orange African Daisies and bunches of satiny orange California Poppies in another four to six weeks.

To appease the HOA I set out a couple of signs that say, “Wildflowers Under Construction.” I don’t really want to pay a fine for my “weeds” or get out some mean weed killing chemical.  I want to see the yard burst into golden waves of color.

wildflowers under constructionI find the symbolism of these flowers particularly appropriate for the challenges I face in my life, large or small.  What appears as something terrible, something troublesome, with time, often, not always, but often, in the long run becomes something positive and memorable.  I’m not about to proclaim gratitude for trials, oh no, not me. But I am willing to concede that I learn from going through hard times.

There’s a beautiful song, written by Stephen Foster, which I found particularly moving a few years back when the tides of trouble breached all levees and inundated my life.  It became an anthem for me of sorts, or a prayer, which I still hum often and think out loud and verbalize while on my knees.

“Let us pause in life’s pleasures to count its many tears,

While we all sup sorrow with the poor;

There’s a song that will linger forever in our ears;

Oh hard times come again no more.

Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,

Hard times, hard times, come again no more.

Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;

Oh hard times, come again no more.”

For me, as for many, if not all, hard times are not a one time event.  Hard things press in on us and weigh us down with a weight that is unfathomable. Finding a small thing like the shoots of wildflowers pushing through the weight of rocky soil can bring hope and send a song through the air that lifts the weight ever so slightly.

Looking For Signs

I look for signs of hope all around me. Not just in springtime harbingers, but in everyday life.  A newborn’s mewling cry. A teen’s energetic laughter. An older couple holding hands. Help being offered when a need presents itself. Kindness extended, smiles proffered, handshakes offered. Birds chirping. A toddler’s rowdy chaos. Blue skies.

The lyrics of this haunting song continue:

“While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,

There are frail forms fainting at the door;

Their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say

Oh hard times come again no more.

Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave,

Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore

Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave

Oh hard times come again no more.”

I want to put a “Wildflowers Under Construction” sign on the doors of certain houses that I know.  I wish them vision to see the shoots of green that are pushing tentatively up through the rocky ground they’re walking on.  I want them to hear the song of hope, however quietly it may lilt in the air. I pray they feel a gentle tug of hope encircle and lift when all seems lost.

I watch for hope, for signs of life and laughter and good things to come.  Being small, they aren’t always easy to see. You have to look closely. They’re everywhere, can you see them?

Mark O’Connor, James Taylor, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer – performing “Hard Times Come Again No More”

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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