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Showing posts with label touch-me-nots. Show all posts
Showing posts with label touch-me-nots. Show all posts

Monday, July 1, 2013

Texas Summer

Summer on the Texas Gulf Coast does not wait for the calendar to mark the solstice.  By late May and early June, we experience burning heat, sprinklers on the lawn,  homegrown tomatoes and hot peppers, katydids singing in the evenings, Crepe Myrtles and Chaste Trees blooming, suppers from the grill, iced tea, cold watermelon, bees buzzing around the basil.  The Touch Me Not seeds are popping, Morning Glories are purple delights, roses slowing down for a second breath, and there are a hundred shades of green. I may complain about being hot, but I love so many things that summer brings.

For Memorial  and Independence Day celebrations, we get the little flags back out to line the sidewalk, and celebrate  birthdays for Joe and Ben.  July brings a bumper crop of figs on our tree,  Vacation Bible School fun, plans with my granddaughters, and family outings.  It will get hotter, and we will watch the hurricane tracking news. We keep ceiling fans whirring and add a buzz fan or two for the back porch. I am thankful for cool evening breezes wafting scent of honeysuckle and cooling the flagstone paths in our garden.

 Summertime!

"Now summer is in flower and natures hum 
Is never silent round her sultry bloom 
Insects as small as dust are never done 
Wi' glittering dance and reeling in the sun 
And green wood fly and blossom haunting bee 

Are never weary of their melody
Round field hedge now flowers in full glory twine
Large bindweed bells wild hop and streakd woodbine
That lift athirst their slender throated flowers
Agape for dew falls and for honey showers
These round each bush in sweet disorder run
And spread their wild hues to the sultry sun."

- John Clare, "June"


Friday, July 13, 2012

Touch- Me- Not

We planted Impatiens Balsaminas this week!  One of our favorite local garden centers grew a few to see what interest their customers might have and were almost sold out when we went to get ours.  For years now, this little known member of the same family as the lavender and coral shade loving impatiens has gone unnoticed. It was popular in Victorian times and a favorite of Thomas Jefferson. I think it is one of those lovely, old fashioned flowers that just fell out of favor.  Mother always grew them in our front flower beds by the screened front porch.  Grandma grew them by the back door.  One of my earliest gardening delights was touching the touch- me- nots!  You see, when their seed pods are "ready", the seeds jump right out - surely producing little girl giggles!  They are heat resistant, don't require nearly as much water as other impatiens, and grow vigorously up to 3 feet high. Best of all, because of their robust reseeding, you usually only have to plant them once, they will come back and come back and come back!

Called by other names, such as Jumping Betty, Lady Slipper, and Rose Balsam, these plants also have a history of medicinal use,  having the reputation of a remedy for snake bite poison ivy rash among others.

I have had fun this week remembering long ago flower beds and being glad for ancestors who loved tending flowers.
I can't wait to touch the first seed pod by my back porch and wait for the resulsts next Spring!