Flowers are among the few things about which I’m somewhat sentimental. It was not always so. When I became a Christian, however, even wild flowers that I’d seldom noticed—May pinks, lady’s slippers, lupines—came to new life as reminders of the Creator.
During Chicago seminary days it was hard enough to raise a budget, let alone flowers. But Pasadena, California, pampered us with roses all but two months of the year. Daughter Carol—now a piano grad student at Indiana U.—wants to insure her hands whenever she recalls the Saturday I inveigled her into helping me plant 500 King Alfred daffodil bulbs.
Our present location, Arlington, Virginia, is an international dormitory for everything from American aphids to Japanese beetles that assault my roses. Last year poison ivy had me itching even in unscratchable places.
I’ve promised my wife that this year’s plantings (to date 150 glads, 150 tulips, and 20 rose bushes) will blossom for her Memorial Day birthday. I’ve saved the picture labels that tempted me to acquire Charlotte Armstrong, Blaze (improved, at that), Crimson Glory, Peace, and all the rest. If worst comes to worst, and the rose bushes go the way of all compost, I’ll arrange a bouquet of the colorful ads; if they still charm me as they did when I yielded to their sales appeal, next year I’ll save myself many a rugged Saturday, not to mention the liniment. When spring comes I’ll just plant the garden catalogues.1
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