Wildflowers have always been a big part of my life, but the year was 1967 when I was more intimately introduced to them. I can remember as a child the woods in front of our house was full of wild azaleas (what we called Honeysuckle back then) and I would gather them by the wheelbarrow load and bring those beauties to the house. I should have been punished!! Maybe if I had not abused them there would be more wild azaleas in our area today.
In the fall of 1966 we bought a house in Marietta and moved there in the spring of ’67.
And it was that spring that Margarite White Brown, a good friend who had grown up at the foot of Lookout Mountain in Valley Head, introduced us to growing wildflowers in the yard and helped make a place for them to grow. Our lot had lots of pines, but we brought dirt from woods where hardwood trees grew and made our very first bed. Ms. Brown shared what she already had such as Rue Anemone, Phlox, ferns and such. John and I were smitten right off the bat and the three of us spent many hours in the woods of Cobb County. We went ahead of the bulldozers where new housing developments were about to be built and rescued flower after flower and brought it in to our lot. In the early 1980’s when we knew we were moving to this location, we started moving the plants; however, we had bad drought years then, too, and lost lots of them. During the 1970’s there was a picnic table on the side of the road at the foot of Sand Mountain and on a trip to the mountain we brought a picnic lunch and stopped at that table. It was there that I got my very first Trillium and I was so excited. When I shared the news in Georgia, of course, I was requested to bring them one. Now there is no table there and the land has been fenced and is a pasture.
Little by little we collected and our Trillium collection has grown to 20 varieties and we are delighted. Last year John made a new Trillium bed just off the sun porch and moved some of the ones from the shade garden area. I can view it from the warmth and comfort of the porch and what a pleasure. On a good day (and we have not many warm ones of late) I still thrill at going to the shade garden to see what’s over there. It’s heartbreaking to see it abandoned; however, we cannot keep it anymore and have to accept that. I have to go in the golf cart, but we stop lots and get out and walk some. John tries to keep the trails open enough for the cart to get through. Right now there is a large tree down in one trail, but maybe somebody will want it for firewood and will move it. I have one person in mind.
The last trip there may be the last one for a while, but I was thrilled to see lots of blooming phlox, Rue, Primroses, Virburnum and wild larksboro. You would have laughed at our dilemma, on our first stop the golf cart quit running and there we were stranded. Thank goodness John is a good walker, so he came to the house and got the battery cables and lawnmower and tried to get it started, but with no luck. So after I had walked around and looked all I wanted to, he tells me he is going to pull the cart to the house with the lawnmower and I’m to steer the cart. Duh!! First off we had to get the cart turned around and headed out – so that meant two old folks were pushing and turning that cart to and fro, but finally we got it headed in the right direction. Now he hooks a chain to the front of the cart and back of the mower and away we go. It was a hoot!!!!!!!! As he turned the corner to exit the woods and enter the road, his turn was too wide and the chain came off and here I was stranded while he kept going. It didn’t take long for him to discover his loss and came back for a re-hooking. We got the sick cart to the shed and there it remains. John is a mechanic for lots of things, but he doesn’t know much about golf carts, but we have an appointment with someone who does know. This has been a good one and we’ve had it ten or more years. This is the first time it has been inoperable and we think that’s great. Anyway, I’ll have to enjoy the plants on this side of the road for a while.
It’s time to start the vegetable garden and we’ve started trying to harden off the many tomato plants we’ve been tending. We have so much wind here that when we set them outside the young, tender plants just lay down. Maybe in a few days things will improve.
This past Sunday being Easter, we thought we could set them outside for a while, but that wind was so cold John opted to bring them back inside.
All the youngsters at church looked so pretty in their Easter frocks and I looked like January with my winter clothes on, but I was cold. One young lady on my pew had on a backless dress and she nearly froze me to death and I told her so. Ha!! I’ll bet it will be be bad to get old!! Such is country living.
Note 2014 — Old age is here and it is bad — miss doing the things we used to do such as working in and enjoying the shade garden and wildflowers.