On Saturday morning, L woke up before I did and went out to forage for his donut holes and Diet Coke. *I KNOW*
We'd planned to spruce up our front porch area. Some plants were overgrown and leggy, some were almost dead, and everything needed some food and a haircut. To fill in where things had died back we first jumped into some clothes and headed to Home Depot's garden department. A few plants and a bag of Miracle Grow soil later, we were back and ready to start.
First up? Ryan's plant. This is a pot of mixed plants that was given as a gift to L when his brother Ryan passed away a few years ago. It started in a big basket, and we transplanted it to a large pot. It thrives. It loves life on our porch. And it's given L some solace when he misses his brother to go out and tend to this container of beautiful, lush, shade plants. Today it needed a big trim. And now look how happy it looks:
Next up? The Ralph Lauren tree. This is a potted ficus tree of some sort that I first met in a showroom at Ralph Lauren in the home department when I worked there in 2000. It was hanging over a bed that had a beautiful dupioni silk duvet cover. And it was dripping sap from the leaves on that duvet cover. Not good. When I told the visual staff what was going on, they decided to get rid of the tree and put something else in it's place. What were they going to do with the tree? Why, throw it away! I asked if I could have it, and they said I could. So Katie (who also worked there) and I hauled it home in the back of her pickup truck. It scratched her truck up a bit, too, if I remember. *sorry Katie* But for the last 10 years we've had this beautiful tree on our porch which has really helped to fill the space. It, too, seems to love our porch, and no matter how chill the winter, or how hard the wind blows, it just survives, season after season. Rx for this tree: major haircut. The leaves and branches had gotten way overgrown, and it was hanging all over the surrounding plants. After a snip snip here there and everywhere, it now looks like this:
The window box was next. What had been previously planted there was dead and/or dying, so we completely ripped it out and planted white geraniums and some kind of purple flowered thing. Whatever we plant there is important because it's what we look at through the window as we come down the stairs each morning. It makes the morning cheery if its thriving and healthy.
The next few items were mainly cleanup, or filling in where things had gotten thin. Our fountain has never had enough of the right plants or greenery around it. For some reason it's been hard to get it right. That day, we found the perfect plant to put in front of it that provides just the right amount of color, loves the dampness, and will fill the space. I can't for the life of me remember what it's called, but it's perfect.
The next thing to get a trim was my beloved hydrangea. My visiting teacher gave it to me about a year ago and it just keeps blooming. I love this plant - it's such a beautiful spot of color on the porch, right in front of my favorite little table that holds the stephanotis plant. When it blooms it fills the porch with the sweetest scent! Last, but not least, is a new addition - a tuburous begonia. I love these flowers - gorgeous color and big fluffy blooms all summer long. Now our porch is all cleaned up and inviting, and will be that way through October. It was a nice Saturday afternoon, with the smell of green plants, flowers and potting soil permeating the air.
After we cleaned up the dirt and clippings, and gave everyone a drink and a misting, we headed indoors where L proceeded to do his favorite thing: vacuuming.
I was starting to gather up some wash when the phone rang. I almost didn't answer it, but I heard the voice of the first counselor in our bishopric on the answer machine. We'd been playing phone tag, and I thought I'd better pick up. I actually thought he was going to tell me it was time to come back to play piano in Primary. (A BYU student had been doing it for the summer) No such luck. He wanted me to speak NEXT Sunday. On The Compassion of Christ.
Looks like I'll have a busy week ahead trying to figure out what to say, and since I normally fall a little short in the compassion and service department, I imagine I'll have a lesson or two to learn in the coming days. Learning experiences - sweet. And then Saturday night - late - I'll be frantically scribbling my ideas down. It's how I roll.