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As I drifted up to consciousness earlier today, my radio delivered the news report about a mass casualty event at a gay club in Florida early this morning. At least fifty lives were lost and another fifty sent to the hospital when a gunman opened fire at the height of the club’s evening.
As the story unfolds, the media scrambles to apply labels to it all: Race, gender and sexual identities, religious or political affiliation, we’ll know all these things about all the participants of the event. They think – they tell us – all these labels will help us understand, guide us in what to believe and feel and think about what has transpired.
But the only thing to understand here is that one human being imposed his will on a great crowd of other human beings and changed their lives in ways incomprehensible (though sadly no longer unfamiliar to our bullet-riddled society). That alone should be enough to hang our sorrow upon. That alone should be enough to fuel our desire and courage to see the world changed to prevent us from having Sunday mornings like this.
All those labels they’re applying, the categories that seperate one from another, those divisions are what cause days like these. They will tell us that today we mourn for Orlando, for the gays, for dead Americans (hashtag neverforget hashtag jesuisorlando hashtag theyhatesowehate hashtag thoughtsnprayers), but our tears are for all humanity.
Here’s the flower of an ice plant. It’s a succulent, so works in hot dry sunny conditions. This one gets good watering living at the feet of our center rose bush and will be on the route of the soon-to-be re-installed soaker hose. It only blooms in full sun, which means most often it blooms when I’m not around to enjoy it, but it’s certainly a treat when I do get to see it. Because of that blooming cycle, I confess this is a photo from a week or so ago.
My plan to host a rainbow of pansies is working out pretty well – with regular watering and deadheading, they are working pretty hard to put on a good show. Most of them are in full sun, so that routine will have to continue steadily throughout the season to encourage them not to fade as the season heats up.
They are also showing me some things about soil quality at the far end of the garden. Those plants are remaining on the small side and I find the flowers are more likely to be chewed by insects. They bloom a little less frequently, which is a shame. Their lighter tones ought to be lighting up that shadier end of the garden border.
With this in mind, when I water I try to give them a little extra, and a recent soil amendment seems to have helped some, too. Meanwhile, at the feet of the entire length of the pansy rainbow, tiny allyssum seedlings are doing just fine, making themselves known for blooming a little later in the season.
There so much going on this time of year – perennials planted the last two seasons are showing signs of happy maturity, filling larger footprints as they grow this year, sometimes popping up in new unexpected spots where they dropped seeds or spread their roots.
This past weekend, I was happy to spy the first seedlings of milkweed emerging from the soil – no doubt my enthusiasm for a tidy bed last year pre-empted them. I’ve been more careful this year and the butterflies and other pollinators should be quite pleased that I have. Also, a new planting of morning glory and cardinal climber seeds in the deck garden just a few days ago has already launched an army of seedlings raising their tiny arms toward assorted trellaces, but that’s for another blog post.
Meanwhile, here’s still plenty of purple to enjoy, too. The Siberian irises are enjoying their moment in the spotlight this week and I’ll wrap things up today with a photo of the last dwarf iris Carolina to bloom this year, with a great chorus of tiny buttercups blooming at it’s feet.
Happy Friday – have a good gardening weekend.