Call – Opelika-Auburn News
Once again the magnificent
Gingles tree is in full bloom
April – what a wonderful time to be
alive! The hummingbirds are back with
us, darting back and forth among the dogwoods and the azaleas. Aw, springtime!
I welcome the season with a heart full of joy!
It is fun to name the hummers. Usually
there are two flitting about nervously. One day they are Cecil and Joyce; the
next day Ted and Ellen, Al and Suzanne or Grady and Celestra.
But when doves arrive, they are Pete
and Pauline. We bought a home from a couple in
The Knock Out rose bushes are bursting with lovely red blooms.
What a pure delight they are! We started with four bushes but they are so
beautiful we kept adding more. Now we have about 20 and would love to increase
that number to 40! They require very
little maintenance and provide beautiful roses for months.
The biggest azalea bush in our front yard was gorgeous last
spring. It is not in full bloom yet so we keep wondering if it will match the
splendor of last season. A picture of that azalea in all its glory hangs on our
The dogwoods and azaleas always remind
Our Japanese Magnolia Tree, now four
years old, has rewarded us with several lovely blooms. Now that I know it will
survive in our yard I plan to plant another one near it – so it will not be
Two camellia bushes are flourishing; pretty
flowers will soon appear. Good it is that everything does not bloom at the same
time. The Crepe Myrtles, for example,
bloom at just the right time, late summer when the spring flowers are spent.
Three years ago I refused to butcher our Crepe
Myrtles and just allowed them to grow. Some are quite tall, thirty feet high. However, in January I changed my mind and
whacked off the tops at about seven feet. Now they are budding out and getting
ready to show their stuff in August. I did leave two standing tall. Will they
grow to forty feet in height? I must wait to see what happens.
This year, with the help of my brother
Seth, and my sons Steve and Tim, I prepared a raised garden with crossties
provided by my nephew Anthony. The dirt was a gift from my neighbor Charles
Williams. Seth scooped up Charles’ burn pile (leaves, trash, limbs) and it is
rich, useful soil. The final load, however, even richer dirt, came from Seth’s
old dump; big earthworms were growing in it!
One season without a vegetable garden was enough for me! I
had to plant again! So the farmer within me is now watching the small plants
grow and expecting a harvest of onions, peppers, tomatoes, beans, lettuce,
squash, okra and even strawberries.
My good friend Wendell Wentz, an Alabama boy now living in
Rockwall, Texas, sent me some pepper seeds of several varieties. I am eager to see if I can grow Habanero Peppers;
my wife will love them! Wendell also shared with me some Moonflower seeds, angels’
trumpet seeds, and a few Crinum Lily bulbs. The Crinum Lily is a subtropical
plant that may not thrive in Alabama. It will be fun to see if all these plants
will grow in Elmore County soil.
Dad would be proud of me though he would never have been satisfied
with so small a garden. His gardens were often five acres or more. How Daddy
loved to work a garden and produce vegetables he and Mama could can for the
Outside our front door the Gingles
Tree is in full bloom. Though it is actually a Chinese fringetree, it is the
Gingles Tree to us. It was a gift nine years ago from our friends Betty and
Judy Gingles, two beautiful people who once graced our lives. The fragrance of
the snowy, white flowers of the tree remind us of the even more wonderful
fragrance of friendship – a precious gift and one of our treasures.
Winter is past! Spring has arrived! Father
God has given Mother Nature the freedom to bless us with the glorious
extravagance of the earth’s springtime. What a marvelous time to be alive! Enjoy it to
the full while it lasts! + + +