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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Season And A Place

I have seen more than sixty springs, yet every year I am amazed again at the rapid rebirth of the earth. A few warm days and the landscape turns a lovely shade of green almost overnight. This is the third day in a row the temperature has reached or exceeded eighty degrees. Flowering trees have burst into bloom and the others are sporting a new crop of pale green baby leaves. The daffodils are almost over and the tulips are now in full bloom. Behind the garage a large patch is purple with violets that decided they liked that spot and made themselves at home. Their tribe is increasing each year.

This week I moved my jungle of potted plants out of the house and into their summer quarters in the patio. The Gerber lily that wintered on the unheated patio actually survived and is blooming beautifully. The other pot that spent most of the winter in the patio was an experiment. A friend gave me a pack of Texas Bluebonnet seed. The instructions said to plant the seed in the fall but I was sure it wouldn't survive outdoors in this part of the world. So I planted the seeds in a pot and nursed the little plants through the long cold winter. For months I hauled that pot indoors overnight so the plants wouldn't freeze and then back out in the morning to try get enough light so they don't turn yellow and die. This week I was rewarded for all this tender loving care with a spike of blue flowers. My poor little bluebonnet is little, pale, and sickly in comparison to the pictures I have seen of the wildflowers in their natural habitat. But I admire my poor little flowers for struggling through a bitter cold winter and blooming in a hostile environment.

Each part of the world had plants and animals that are suited to that particular environment and thrive there. Sometimes things can be transplanted to another part of the world and survive but generally it is best to leave them where they belong. The soil and climate in Pennsylvania is not suitble for Texas Bluebonnets and even though I coaxed one to bloom it is not as big or beautiful as it would be in Texas. But then, Pennsylvania has some things that do not survive in Texas---like snow! There's a season and a place for everything.

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