Decorating for Palm Sunday.

This morning, right after Divine Liturgy for Lazarus Saturday, lots of people immediately got to work decorating for Palm Sunday, which for Orthodox Christians is tomorrow. Others of us stood around in the divine sunshine chatting before we went home to get ready for the next of our string of services, 16 between now and Pascha night. (No, no one can go to all of them.)

(In the photos above, the triangle of white in the lower right is some papers that I was holding in front of my phone without realizing it.)

One friend took my arm and steered me to her car where she had a basket of spicy buns she had specially designed and baked for the celebration. They were in the shape of a body with two cloves for eyes, and bands wrapped around his middle (I immediately thought back to the Gospel reading we had just heard, in Lazarus comes out of the tomb still bound up with graveclothes), and they were still warm from the oven. Yum. The sun shone on us, divinely. The welcome, welcome sun.

I didn’t get a picture of the little Lazarus buns, but I did get close to these trees that I had no memory of seeing before. The rose-like blooms hang down large and lovely, like clusters of bells. My Seek app says they are Japanese Cherry Trees. And no wonder the flowers look like roses, as the trees are, like so many fruit trees and bushes, in the Rose family.

Then, it was time for me to go, fortified by holy bread and Lazarus bread, to a tax appointment. Well, the woman who helps me is very nice, and likes to hear about my church. So even that part of the day was blessed.

When I was finally home and adding water to the fountain, I marveled at the sun-infused pomegranate bushes… and the Dutchman’s Pipe flowers… and the way so many plants have grown taller than usual with the very wet winter they’ve enjoyed, and their flower stalks are majestic, even the ones that haven’t opened their blooms yet.

My particular Dutchman’s Pipe is a California native. This evening when I sniffed at the flowers again, I still could not detect any scent; I’ve been waiting for them to live up to their reputation of being stinky. So I did a little research and some people say that the North American species do not have a scent. Hmm… I wonder how the butterflies and pollinating gnats will find them?

I don’t remember what this flower is, but about fifty plants self-seeded into this pot and now are brightening the patio enthusiastically. It appears to be a spring day all around.

11 thoughts on “Decorating for Palm Sunday.

  1. Identical flowers to those which self seeded into your pots have showed up in the big concrete pot which holds my fig tree out front as well as in several formerly empty pots near it. Where they came from I don’t know as we don’t have those flowers at our place. A gift from Spring I guess. Cathy


    1. Yes, that’s what they are! Thank you, Linda. I planted them last year but hadn’t taken the time to hunt around for the plant tag.
      They look much happier this year, having planted themselves at the optimal time, and not suffering from transplant stress.


  2. I have taken note of the name of those lovely flowers and will look for either the plants or the seeds when next I am near a plant shop. Your garden is certainly looking good!
    Have a blessed Holy Week.


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