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Thistles & Roses - Commentary

Take time to smell the flowers


This is the time of year in late winter/early spring when some flowers bloom beautifully for a very short time. I also pause to experience the moment of their beauty because each moment is all we really have in this often too-busy life.

I wonder every year when I see those small trees that bloom in the woods with brilliant white flowers just what are they and where do they come from? I think that they are wild plums, but some say that they are dogwoods. All I know is that they bloom in February, are gone by March, and disappear into the landscape and I forget about them until the next February.

Daffodils have a very short lifespan. Dozens are planted in Trinity Park in Fort Worth and show their brilliant yellow vividly for such a short time in February and are also gone by March.

The redbud trees also bloom brilliantly and last a little bit longer. They are planted into landscapes, but also grow wild and show their colors in the barren woods before the blooms fade and they blend into the background as other trees and bushes began to leaf out.

Irises will soon bloom and last a month or two. Clark Gardens in Mineral Wells has many beds of various exotic and regular irises in dozens of beds. When they bloom, it reminds me of my late mother who loved irises and visiting Clark Gardens.

Clark Gardens also has a huge hill of rosemary plants of many varieties. The honey bees swarm as these plants bloom profusely in different colors. I recommend that you find time to go to Clark Gardens and experience life’s moments there. The model trains are also a treat.

Bradford pears, promoted by Neil Sperry, the legendary Texas horticulturist, bloom brilliantly white in the spring, provide shade in the summer, and have brilliant red leaves that last in the fall until major winds blow them away.

When the crepe myrtle, that most beautiful plants of the southern United States, finally blooms in many colors in the summer, we have flowers for a longer time. My grandmother used to comment on the crepe myrtles. I didn’t understand what she was talking about as a child, but now I do.

Bluebonnets are starting to bloom. Texas owes a debt to Lady Bird Johnson for her dedication to Texas wildflowers. Mexican Hat and other plants will soon bloom in our meadow.

While life is so fragile and our time here is so short, we can rely on these short plant life cycles to repeat themselves. We, on the other hand, are not going to be here forever. So we should enjoy the flowers when they bloom and our families and our friends with these fleeting moments that we have.


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