Favourite Flowers of Summer
Most of us have our favourite flowers of summer. Here, Carol Harrison remembers some of the flower memories she has collected over the years.
Spring and Summer Flowers
When you live in a part of the country that experiences long, cold winters, the brightness of spring and summer flowers adds to the colour and cheer to our puzzle of life. My gardening abilities are limited. My thumbs seem to be black instead of green and plants and flowers wither under my care most of the time. Yet I can enjoy the beauty others can cultivate in their yards or even pots on apartment balconies.
Several years ago I received a writing prompt about summer memories, flowers in particular. My first thought was negative because of my lack of gardening skills. I planned to let this prompt slide on by since I didn’t garden. I thought about the memories of flowers, I found quite a bit to write about and decided to share that with the listeners today.
Flowers punctuated the yards of my mother and both grandmothers during my growing up years. Sweetpeas climbed the mesh attached to the wall of our garage, giving a sweet fragranced bouquet and riot of colour as we looked out our kitchen window. Crimson salvia and geraniums nestled against the deep green of ferns and accented the vegetable garden. Each spring my grandmother’s back yard filled with the fragrance of lilacs and my other grandmother had a wide array of colours and types of flowers blooming in her yard. She liked to treat herself to picking one bloom to treasure indoors as well.
Surrounded By Beauty
Even though I grew up surrounded by the beauty and fragrance of many types of flowers, I seem to have missed inheriting a green thumb. I still enjoy looking at other people’s flower gardens and even photos of flowers, but growing them myself has been a challenge through the years—one I tend to leave unaccepted at this point, especially when many fragrances adversely affect my asthma.
Just because I do not grow flowers I have several favourites. One is the crocus, that tiny flower reminds me of the inevitability of spring’s arrival, no matter how harsh, cold and long the winter months could be. For a number of years my husband, children and I lived in the country. A steep hill of untouched prairie rose from beyond the hedge on the north side of our yard, visible from my kitchen window. I loved my first glimpse of pale, purple crocus blooms peeking out from the melting snow, patches of ice and dead winter grasses. They were the first sign of spring and dotted that prairie hillside with colour. It has been years since we lived in that location, but I can close my eyes and see the hillside dotted with the hope of spring.
My other favourite flower is one that offers a jaunty sense of happiness just with its presence. Pansies, with their vibrant colours and perky smiling faces, grow easily in our prairie climate. In fact, one summer, I attempted having a few pots of them in my tiny, stone covered, townhouse yard. They survived and brought me smiles all summer.
When warm weather returned the next spring I debated about getting more pansies for my yard. Looking outside I noticed a bit of colour among the rocks. Investigating further I realized the pansies had seeded themselves and now bravely pushed through the rocks. All summer those two or three brave, bright spots defied the odds and cheered me by their presence.
I may not grow many flowers and usually none at all. But I still love to search, each spring, for a pale purple dot on the prairie and know the crocuses herald the coming spring. During the growing season my eyes are drawn to the fun, vibrant hues of the pansy. In fact I almost bought a pot of them for my apartment deck. Oh well, I will just enjoy them in other people’s gardens.
Last summer my granddaughter decided to gift me a fun container of pansies for my apartment balcony. They actually managed to last all summer. Maybe I’ll get her to plant me some more this year.
Dirt Between Your Fingers
Are you a gardener? Do you enjoy the feeling of dirt between your fingers? Do flowers colour your yard, balcony, or home?
John 15 talks about the Master Gardener and how God prunes the branches that aren’t bearing fruit and casts them into the fire. Jesus says in verse 1
“I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener.”
I am not a gardener but even I know that if a branch is not part of the tree or plant it cannot survive on its own. John 15:5 tells us,
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
As we look at gardens, see the trees with their coats of green leaves, and inhale the scents of gorgeous flowers, we can remember that we need to be connected to Jesus, the true Vine, and allow God, the gardener to prune away the unhealthy attitudes, actions, and words in order that we can grow, mature, and bear much fruit. Our lives can reflect the beauty God gives us on the inside as we interact with others each day.
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope. She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren.