Reflecting in the Garden on an Early Spring Day


Dear Reader:

Spring is officially here and somehow I always feel that if it is “official”…(the real deal…the equinox…) then the weather has to start behaving itself and stop its unpredictability and see-saw winter-spring games.

Perhaps Charles Dickens (Great Expectations) said it best:

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. “

We can certainly appreciate Dickens’ observations of March …especially since we have all lived this scenario over and over in the last few weeks.

But I decided to brave the odds and continue adding a new plant here and there…bravely tempting Old Man Winter to stay back up north and leave us alone.

Come with me on this sunny, breezy, cloudy, rainy day to my garden…and see the on-going changes for the 2015 spring season….some flowers and plants have been moved or given a new “wardrobe” to wear for the spring season.

IMG_3516I removed the cabbage and pansies from the barrel in the front yard and replaced them with gerber daisies and a mixture of shades of green ivy.

I took the cabbage to the garden to live out the remainder of its seasonal growth time.

IMG_3521It seems quite happy joining the rest of the cabbages creating their last “plumes”  of beauty.

Last year I planted clematis next to a post leading up to the back apartment. I thought it would be pretty climbing up and around the upper deck. It did nothing…didn’t take one single step.
IMG_3525 …and then yesterday I glanced down and there it was…climbing away…it must have needed a season to acclimate…but I am so excited at the thought of seeing purple blooms climbing up to the apartment deck.

(* Let me stop here and let you know that I must be going through a purple phase in life…as everything I have planted lately…seems to be purple.)

I read a quote the other day that reminded us to be eccentric now and not wait for old age to wear purple….so I am letting all my plants and flowers wear purple for me. (I’m crazy enough, as Eva Cate informed me, without wearing purple myself!)


I am trying out the “Passion flower vine” this year (for the first time) near the side fence….I hope it doesn’t take a season to acclimate and grow like the clematis did…so far it is hanging in there with some buds about to bloom.





The forsythia bush is finally taking off this season…this is the third “official” spring season and it is like every plant and flower is finally fitting in together in the garden and doing its own thing!



IMG_3517I discovered the secret to maintaining flowering baskets during the hot, simmering summertime…Buy succulents! They last until the first hard freeze and love the sun…the hotter the better.


IMG_3526 Our state flower is very happy and budding on top of itself continuously…Go Yellow Jessamine!


IMG_3523  Laurapedium… ( It didn’t pull up on Google))…not sure of the spelling….tried laurapodium but all I got was a picture of Laura Bush giving a talk at a podium during her husband’s first administration.

* Doodle to the rescue: This is a difficult spelling: Loropetalum – Think I will just nickname her: “Laura”



A dwarf spirea….maybe “mock orange” type of spirea…first little “cotton ball” popping up.

IMG_3520 I love zinnias! Like daisies they just make me smile.

IMG_3518 I finally found a platter that was big enough to cover the entire seat that has fallen out of this chair on the deck and I couldn’t resist getting this beautiful arrangement of purple colors. This basket is filled with lavender and purple petunias.

*When I went to plop down in my new lounge chair (so I wouldn’t get a “crick” in my neck again if I fell asleep on the deck) guess who beat me to it?


Sarah Breathnach, in her book Simple Abundance, makes the observation that there are two types of women gardeners…the first wear big floppy hats with pearls around their necks, matching garden gloves to the floppy hats….they know, not only the name of each plant or flower planted…but also the Latin derivative/correlation. They never break a sweat (just a beautiful dew upon their faces) and never, ever get dirty in the garden…

And then there are the rest of us…aptly called the “Grunge.” We have permanent red faces from squatting down with our little shovels and spades. We are recognized more for our dirty fingernails (where are those gardening gloves?) than “green thumbs.”

We call all our flowers by colors because we can’t remember their names. There’s “Big Yella” and over there is “Little Yella”, etc. We point to flowers more than we introduce them…but somehow, nameless or not, our gardens bring us such joy that the anonymous foliage doesn’t matter. It still becomes a sanctuary to our souls. (Thanks Anne for helping me name them)

What I find in myself (in my garden) is what is important …and that is inner peace. At the beginning of the Unity of Charleston’s bulletin…there is a quote from their Unity co-founder…Charles Fillmore. He lauded time in silence as follows:

” The highest form of prayer we know is quietly entering the inner chamber within the soul, shutting the door to the external thoughts of daily life, and seeking conscious union with God.”


So until tomorrow…Help us Father remember to give ourselves the “gift of peace” each and every day.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Gin-g gave the perfect example of “being” not “doing” in a comment she sent me involving her last hours with her mother.

Amen to just being…which is exactly how I felt with Mother the week I was here before she went to Glory. I kept thinking that I needed to say something wise or profound, but somehow words were inadequate.

I just sat quietly and enjoyed with people who knew and loved her and had cared for her came into the room to share their stories about Mother. It was so good for my soul and I knew that God had allowed for his perfect timing.

* Mike shared this funny picture with me….When he and Honey walked the 50 mile three day walk for MS in Savannah….there were many “rest stations” along the way. Each was competing for most creative…and the “Living Dead” with their “Dead End Station” was definitely a winner in creativity!


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to Reflecting in the Garden on an Early Spring Day

  1. Honey Burrell says:

    Your garden is amazing! Just like you!!! Have a beautiful day. Love you lots, Honey


  2. Becky Dingle says:

    You too…we are getting rain again and some more tomorrow….ready to see the sun re-emerge and stay out a few days in succession…but life is good! Love you too!


  3. ask says:

    Heya i’m for the primary time here. I came across this board
    and I in finding It truly useful & it helped me out much. I
    hope to offer something again and help others like you helped me.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      So glad you found something in my blogs to help you. Please check in again and we would love for you to join the family of readers.


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