Tag Archives: helianthemum

Happy as flowers and peeps.

There is not one word for the way so many of us Orthodox feel when we have come to the end of Lent and Holy Week, and are finally standing in church on Pascha night, exhausted, brain dead, dizzy from sleepiness, feeling a little (or a lot) out of whack from keeping strange hours and eating little. Parents of young children have been dealing with toddlers crying from fatigue and their older siblings longing to go to the day’s special service at church.

We wouldn’t have it any other way. We know we need Lent to prepare us to receive the fullness of Resurrection joy, and Holy Week passes so quickly, each of the many services unique in the entire church year. You don’t want to miss one. But – you must; your body is still earthy and not transformed. The whole process seems to be divinely designed to make us feel our utter dependence on Christ Himself to bring us to Pascha, and we are made aware of the bits of extra grace that are as good as blood transfusions for the dying.

I think the sensations are like being on a river, a river of Life. You know you aren’t a good sailor or swimmer, but you also know that God and His Church are the vessel in which you travel, and they will carry you.

In the end, Pascha comes to us, and comes for us, as the hymn exultantly proclaims, “A new and holy Pascha has come for us!” And we hear the homily of St. John Chrysostom once again:

O death, where is thy sting?

O Hades, where is thy victory?

Christ is risen, and you are overthrown!

Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!

Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!

Christ is risen, and life reigns!

Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in a tomb!

We have just about the best choir ever, in my parish, but they are only a few of the voices singing the great song of God’s love and Christ’s victory. This song doesn’t ever stop playing, but it’s at this season of the year we are given the gift of its wake-the-dead resounding in our hearts.

Today at our Bright Monday agape meal, I could tell that even the silly peeps wanted to hop out of their basket, so I brought them home to be a visual kind of bunny song on the windowsill. My garden has been putting on its spring show and until now I haven’t had time to collect all those images here; today I offer a profusion. Still, not nearly as many as our greetings of:

Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!

Sunny flowers and vegetables.


I’m way behind on gardening, and now that the weather permits catching up, I’m off on a short trip to see grandchildren, planned when I couldn’t envision anything but rain. Yesterday I did manage to fit in a very few tasks such as weeding and feeding and even harvesting.






I think these would be called carrot thinnings, of the sort you end up with when you put off thinning too long. Some of them are sweet enough. What I didn’t eat last night will make good snacks on my journey.

For dinner I made a tiny stir-fry using all the pak choi and snow peas that I had picked. Hope leapt up for my vegetable gardening future.

Helianthemum are blooming, starting with the yellow ones in the front garden. I’m a little sad having to leave all my plant children right now, but I will entrust them to God and come back soon!

yellow flowers

I’m going to tell  you about two more yellow flowers that are found in my garden. Let’s start with the one that I am always distressed to find, the Italian Arum Lily, which is a noxious weed. 😦 These plants have come back into the new garden even more heartily than they grew in the old, probably because they can reproduce by means of cormlets, and I imagine those pieces of rootstock got scattered in all the rearranging of dirt while landscaping. P1040386 Italian Arum Lily

This picture is one I took just last week when I was finally getting to the weeds after prolonged rain. I don’t like to let them get to the point of flowering, but I did pull this one before the seeds formed. The seeds are not likely to be nearly as effective at spreading this weed as the cormlets, though, because they are few, and easy to prevent.

The pleasing non-weed yellow flower is the Jerusalem Sage. I have three of these that were planted so as to look nice against the hopbushes, and now that they are blooming, we can see that the two plants do indeed complement one another.


P1040376 jer sage & hopbush crp

I planted a red helianthemum nearby, and it doesn’t look bad, either!

Henfield and finches are Brilliant.

from the Web

This morning through my open kitchen windows I heard music that reminded me of visits to the pet store, and it was because of the songs of finches in my garden. I had to get out the binoculars and study a bit, but I discovered a pair of house finches in the Dr. Suess (redwood) tree in the yard behind mine.  I even took a very fuzzy photo of them as they sat close together and necked. I wonder if they have a nest up there. From time to time they come down to have a snack from my bird feeder, and often follow it with a sip from the top of the pineapple finial on my fountain.

The robin hopped through this morning, also, and a towhee. Hummingbirds have started to sip from the hummingbird feeder I set up for the first time here. Well, one hummingbird at a time…. The flocks of birds we had in February vanished for most of rainy March, and now new ones are coming. It’s a new world for me, all this birdwatching.

IMG_2027Henfield Brilliant is the name of my favorite helianthemum. Who would have dreamed, two years ago when I had a hard time finding even one of these plants, that I would ever have nine of them bordering soft woody paths? They are starting to bloom now.IMG_2032

Today I am headed out to yet another birthday party (blush), this time with two friends with whom I share a birthday week and year. This is our 31st year having lunch together! We all love to garden, and this year I found Henfield Brilliants to give to them, too.