I’ll admit it. I’m a fool for April with its changeable skies: cloudy, sunny, cloudy again. I’ll even take the wind, although it leaves my face gritty after I walk.
I’m a fool for newly unfurled leaves glowing against red bark.
I’m a fool for narcissus, those stalwart, deer proof bulbs now dotting my yard with color and fragrance. I no longer remember all of their names, but I still love their complicated shapes and colors all contained within the palette of white, yellow and pink. Gail at Clay and Limestone wrote about Situational Narcissus this week. You should go and have a look see.
I’m also a fool for hellebores, but you knew that. Mine are still blooming beautifully and will until the weather gets really hot. The red and blue ladies are in their third season, and, like can-can dancers, really strutting their stuff. Interestingly, although Helleborus x hybridus ‘Red Lady’ and H. x hybridus ‘Blue Lady’ are tissue cultured, and therefore, supposed to remain true to form, I think they look alike. I have two red ladies and one blue lady, and it is difficult to tell the difference. Barbara from Mr. McGregor’s Daughter has H. x hybridus ‘Pink Lady’, which looks very similar to mine. Someday, I’ll write a post about seed strains and such, but for now, you can read what I wrote for State by State’s newsletter about hellebores.
The flowers of the euphorbias are making an appearance. Euphorbia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’ is new to the shade garden this spring and is already in bloom just like my older variety on the opposite side of the garden. The ‘Blackbird’ variety I planted in a container last summer died, probably from the cold even though the pot was in a protected area next to the house. I am happy to say the three Japanese maples planted in containers are doing great. I think I will move them into more shade this summer though.
“April showers bring May flowers,” but in Oklahoma, they can also bring huge thunderstorms with lightning and even tornadoes. Like the storms of life, they quickly emerge and then pass away. Let’s hope whatever is making my father-in-law, Ken, ill also passes with godspeed. He has been in the hospital for over three weeks. I send blessings to my sisters-in-law who are tirelessly caring for him and my mother-in-law, Marie, who is home. He seems to be improving, and so I hope he will quickly be set right.
I only write this because I believe for the first time in years, we won’t have our large Easter celebration here on Sunday. My mother and sister will come, but perhaps no one else. It will be different, and change is hard, but life is full of it. I’m just grateful my mother is well enough to come.
It’s Holy Thursday, and tonight we celebrate the Last Supper with the washing of parishioners’ feet and final consecration of the Eucharist. Although tomorrow is Good Friday, and we’ll be attending the liturgy at 3:00 p.m., for me, Holy Thursday is the saddest day of the season. As in the Old Testament, a garden becomes an important part of the story. The disciples fell asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane, leaving Jesus to pray and face Satan alone. Then, Peter betrays Jesus. To die for others is hard, but the disciples’ betrayal and lack of faith were harder to bear.
As they care for their ailing parents, my sisters-in-law are in the Garden with Him, but they are awake. Suffering is never easy to watch especially if it someone you love. Having cared for my mother these past few years, my sister and I give them our hearts and this final bouquet of flowers they probably won’t see this Sunday.
A blessed Holy Thursday everyone and Happy Easter.