I’m sometimes tempted to write off holidays that seem primarily Hallmark driven. But that’s the curmudgeon in me. When I was a kid, Valentine’s Day ranked right up there with Halloween. I can feel the cramp developing in my right hand just thinking about all those cards for school the next day.
My first communion picture is germane, because I used the Parish Bulletin as my checklist–to make sure I didn’t miss anyone. Everybody got a card from everybody. You’ll note my check marks end with Janet Nicholas. That’s when my mom caught me using what I guess she considered an important historical document. I wouldn’t remember a thing about it if I hadn’t gotten in trouble.
Hah. I guess Mom was right. I still have the damn thing.
Okay. What was I talking about?
Right. I love getting cards, for any occasion, though admit, I’m not great with a calendar. I have trouble sending the right card at the right time–always thinking everything is waaaay out in the future, until it’s in the rearview mirror. I’ve had some good Halloween cards in the drawer for years. They’re like plants that never make it from the pot to the ground. Is it like that for other people?
Of course, flowers are always lovely, for Valentine’s Day, or any old time. Mister likes them too, but in a different way. I don’t want to embarrass him here by showing damage. But you get the idea.
Last year I didn’t bring flowers inside because of him. But this year, as dog is my witness, they’re coming in–even if it means guarding full-time with squirt bottle in hand.
And since the flooziest of my flowers don’t put in an appearance until May, there are other plant options to satisfy a heartfelt yearn–say Epimediums. Tony Avent penned this great article on the history of Epimediums aka Fairy Wings or Horny Goat Weed.
I love this tough performer, in all its leaf forms.
Here’s another that more nearly adhere’s to a heart-shaped theme.
The above was a gift from a former neighbor. I transplanted from our Alameda garden, and then abused heck out of it here as I moved it around trying to find it a good home. It’s tough as Honey Badger.
The Saruma henryi aka Upright Wild Ginger was a gift from Megan. She first saw it at Lan Su Chinese Gardens: it was love at first sight. This “hearty” plant was a start transplanted from her garden to my Alameda garden, and then finally here. Another tough and gorgeous performer–with velvety heart-shaped leaves.
Of course, my Epimediums don’t look anywhere near this terrific yet. But they will in short time. I got myself out into the garden today–the picture of that lovely Paeonia above inspired me. And praise be: I saw buds on an Itoh Hybird Peony, the one that produces these wild and crazy blooms. I call them all Floozies, but this girl is leader of the pack.
It was so nice to be outdoors–a respite from the rain. There was sunshine. I went for walk. Sweet vignettes were there for the viewing, and made my heart sing. We’re so close to full-swing gardening.
Wishing you hearts and flowers and plants this Valentine’s Day–with more sunny skies just around the corner.
P.S. The card atop this post was my dad’s from 2nd Grade. The back is addressed to Clovis from Richard Hart; it’s marked 5¢. Amazing Dad managed to hold onto it all those years–especially with this household crew underfoot. He gave it to me in 1996. I asked for it as my inheritance. Irish folks. That’s how we roll.