My spirea bushes are now 3 years old. I have a picture that shows them blooming when they were first planted and I have a picture from year 1, after one year in the ground. In the time between year one and their 2ndbirthday, there was a late freeze that nipped all the buds and the spirea never bloomed. Last year I added two more spirea bushes and this year, in spite of another late freeze, they finally bloomed.
I just love the way they always look like fireworks and how appropriate it is that they bloom to celebrate Memorial Day, when we remember our brave soldiers who died and the families who mourn them. Without these soldiers my spirea might not have importance for anyone; we might have to be worried about our national security instead. But beauty is one of the good parts of being alive and we should also always celebrate the good parts of being alive, Because our soldiers keep us safe, we and their families can live satisfying and peaceful lives.
The blooming of my spirea plants is the doorway into summer, which we are told may be buggy, wet and stormy. But I bet that people will work around these things to enjoy a picnic or two, make a visit to a summer home if they have one, indulge in a camping trip if they don’t, take some great walks or hikes, and maybe embark on a boat ride and or dive in for a swim in a lovely lake or other body of water.
Twinkle lights are one of mankind’s greatest inventions. They’re pretty and they’re cheap. They brighten up the dark nights when we have just gone into Daylight Savings Time, that weird American anachronism that makes it dark by 5 pm. I guess we continue it, even though it was once intended for farmers, because it makes it lighter for the morning commute and for the children standing on the bus stops all over America waiting to be driven off to school. Twinkle lights, for the most part, appear at Christmas time and are gone sometime after New Year’s Day. A restaurant or a shop may display twinkle lights year round but a village is also limited to Christmas time. I live near a winter attraction called Lights On the Lake which displays millions of twinkle lights gone wrong. They are in tubes and are wired to frames. They are used to light up Disney-esque displays usually with a holiday theme. These kinds of tamed twinkle light displays are not as pretty as twinkle lights in a tree or decorating a house. Kids love them and they appear to be animated as the lights move across the road that runs through the display. They are marvels of engineering or mechanics, but too cartoonish to qualify as pretty.
My own twinkle light display this year is very simple. My old farm house does not provide outdoor electrical outlets so I have to push a cord out of the mail slot on the front porch. This makes my own light display very limited but for what it’s worth, here is a very bad photo of my lights. I will also include a photo of my spirea bushes with their dainty leaves dusted with the first snowfall of the season. I may be obsessed with spirea bushes and twinkle lights but everyone needs a fairly innocent obsession.
Last spring I took some pictures of my baby Renaissance Spirea plants. This year I took a picture or two of the same spirea bushes after one year of growth. Spireas grow fast. Sadly our weather was too warm in the early spring and then, just after the buds formed for the flowers, several nights of hard frost hit and so the spirea never exploded into bloom, never got to imitate fireworks. Luckily the plants did not die, however, and have managed to stay alive and grow in a very hot summer with very little rain.
I added two more spirea plants at a 90 degree angle to the first three.
When someone I know rented a rototiller they tilled a few garden spaces in my yard for me. One garden, a flower garden, I have tucked in behind the spirea bushes.
I have a tiny vegetable garden with three tomato plants and 3 squash plants which the bunny and the woodchuck have been sharing in spite of the chicken wire fence I built around it. Its current state is embarrassing so I decided I would not photograph it. Another space has been dedicated to those seeds (in this case wildflower seeds) that come in a sack and that you broadcast at random. They are growing, but have not produced anything worthy of photographing either. This is a nice big garden space and will be my project for next summer.
Still, I wish I could have had a picture of my original three spirea plants in full flower. They will, I hope, someday look something like this.