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wild flowers...

Thursday, March 3, 2016
...blooming in south GA make me think of my dad. When I was traveling across the state on Tuesday, I noticed lots of places where the yellow Caroline jasmine was blooming. The vines often retain their leaves throughout the winter months, though they can take on a reddish cast from the cold, looking almost rust colored, but leaves remain on the thin twining vines along fence rows and in tree tops.

Then as the weather warms, days get longer with more sunlight, the bright trumpet shaped blooms open as an early harbinger of spring. One of the earliest wild flowers that brighten the landscape to remind us of the changing seasons. I have sweet clear memory of riding around the country lanes of the county with him, only miles from the Florida state line, as we roamed the landscape. Observing the minute changes as daylight incrementally increased and the sun warmed the earth. The budding  leaves on trees showing the blush of red and palest green as they begin to sprout and color. Tiny wildflowers blooming along the right of way: wild violets showing dark purple faces. But especially the bright blooms of the jasmine as it would show brilliant yellow trumpet shaped flowers draped along the fences of farm land and through the canopy of treetops in the low lands of swampy areas.

It surprised me so, in his later years, after he retired and had hours of free time to putter around in the yard - to see him love nurturing and growing things. He had an affinity for camellias. Started several by air-layering, from plants his  mother had in her yard, and grew them into huge bushes. I don't know if it was his love of daylilies or my mom, but they had many varieties, neatly tagged with names, growing in several beds. As a child, I was not aware of the 'nurturing' aspect of his personality, but when I returned as a (relatively civilized) adult, it was a delight to see him roaming around in his domain, digging, planting, tending, cultivating flowering plants and growing a variety of vegetables in his back yard garden.

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