Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Flourishing in Mid-Summer

In a few days, I will hit a milestone birthday. I picture my life like a long walk in our neighborhood.  The reality of how old I am, rather than how young I feel, is about to overtake me.  As I pass this mile-marker, I am motivated to keep moving forward, onward, and upward.  I don't want to fade on my long distance journey; I want to return home still full of energy. To achieve that result, what should I do today, next week, next year?  Neighborhood gardens yield some hints. 

Here in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, if you want a garden to flourish in the heat of summer, you plant accordingly. Corn and tobacco flourish in fields,
 while succulents thrive without needing to be watered.
Traditional summer bloomers, like marigolds, never fail even during an especially long, hot season.

Inpatients, if planted in the shade, are abundant by late July or early August.
Daisies, pink or white, look fresh on the most humid dog-days.
The begonias on our south-facing, but partially-shaded, patio have been very happy this summer.
Even as far north as Pennsylvania, Crepe Myrtle adds a colorful touch to the landscape.
 In the heat of July and August, I especially like a combination of plants that leave a refreshing impression, such as:
pachysandra and ferns,

variegated hostas and Queen Anne's Lace, and
 sweet potato plants surrounding Knock-Out roses.

As I walk in our neighborhood, I wonder what should I plant in my life to flourish on my homeward journey? Time with family and friends, time spent helping others, time spent worshiping the God of Creation, these give me joy and replenish my spirit during dry spells. With my big birthday approaching, I purpose to cultivate these flowers in my garden and power-walk toward home.


  1. I had no idea you were in Lancaster County. I am right down the road in Haverford. I would have mounds of impatients, my landscapers planted 250 but the deer ate every last one of them. I really want to try crape myrtles. My brother has a huge one in his backyard and it is nice and showy right now.

  2. Mary Beth, I lived in Haverford from 12th grade through grad school. Even though I attended Haverford High only my senior year, I graduated from there. We lived not far from the psychiatric hospital on Meadows Lane. ;) Where are you located?

  3. Hi Maurie, this is a beautiful post. I'm hitting one of those mile markers in a few weeks too. The big 5-0. I gave birth to the twins right before my 40th, so my babies are turning 10 in a few days. How quick it goes by.
    In case you didn't know, you can have your comments sent to your email address, so you can send an email reply if you want. I noticed you answered Mary Beth here in the post, so that's why I mentioned it. If you already knew that, please forgive me for butting in :-)