Happy Hands

May 17, 2007

There were a few broken nails, maybe some nicks and dings and more than a little bit of soil under the nails, but this week we got to play in the dirt and me and my hands are glad. It could be some kind of hereditary thing linking back to my mother’s people – I’m really not sure. But for whatever reason, the need to hold the earth in my hands, to plant, feed and water, to weed and measure growth as the days march into summer… is very real for me. It just doesn’t feel like spring until my back is a little sore, my knees are tender and the plants are in. My hands are dirty and life is good.


Willi and I went from the church plant sale to Johnson’s Produce in Valparaiso for bedding plants, herbs, and a perennial or two. That’s where we found this Setcreasea plant, also called Purple Heart, or Wandering Jew. It fit very nicely in the planter and should get pretty and full in no time at all.


To me it is called Moses in the Bulrush and I got a warm rush when I saw it. As it was explained, the two outermost leaves form the shape of the basket and the little pink flower is the baby resting inside. At least that is the story I was told back in the day.


We also found some surprises as we cleaned the winter leftovers from around the house. You only see this Lily of the Valley for a brief time and then it’s green foliage is lost among the Tiger Lilies.


Here is Solomon’s Seal. It has a tall but graceful sway with leaves that are very similar in shape to the Lily of the Valley, however it is much bigger.


If you look closely you can see the most exciting find for us this year. In the top and center of the picture, there is the deep red bloom from Willi’s Trillium. Right underneath is a Jack in the Pulpit!


Willi planted the Trillium a few years back and this little guy must have hitched a ride. How cool is that? Here is a closer look. I remember finding these when I was a kid and being shown how the preacher stood in the pulpit. That was when my mom taught me to watch where I walk in the woods so that I would not miss anything, but more importantly so that I did not leave my mark where it might do harm.


Well that was our Sunday. It was a warm beautiful Mother’s Day. Tonight, on the other hand, they are calling for frost…


…and these happy hands were covering up the Petunias!


12 Responses to “Happy Hands”

  1. her indoors Says:

    wow some lovely plants there, i am sorry to say i do not have green fingers but i do love to see gardens that are tended with love, mine is grass free but i do put plants in pots and bring in some colour

  2. Nessa Says:

    Your garden looks wonderful. I like to plant lots of plants, too, but I don’t like taking care of them, so I promised my husband I would plant what he agreed to look after. Now, I just make mud pies.

  3. I love the picket fence planter. Did you make it? Your garden pics are lovely. Isn’t it fun taking pictures of all the things growing and blooming in your yard and gardens? Also identified with the pic of your hands. My hands stay well-worked all spring and summer, too. I don’t understand people who can’t do anything because of their nails.

  4. dilling Says:

    we’ve been gardening like mad…already some of out blooms are over….
    and the next pops up….so jealous of your jack in the pulpit…I love,love,love them. How did you get your trillium? trasplant or seed? they grow wild here, but our next garden project in the shade corner out back it to put in some raised beds with all indigenous plants like the many ferns around here, the mosses, etc…maybe a huckleberry bush…trillium would be nice, too, but I don’t know how well that would go over here if someone saw me taking them from where they grow here…even just one….

  5. Tink Says:

    I’m never going to post a picture of my hands. They look like an old lady’s. But the gardening looks wonderful. THAT is an inspiration. Eventually Hoop and I will have a pretty yard. Instead of what’s there right now…


  6. mjd Says:

    Great minds think in the same way. Did you see my post of Thursday. May 17? Of course, you have written something sensible, and I wrote more silliness. Tink mentions old hands, I did think about the oldness of my hands when photographing them.

    You have Jack-in-the-Pulpit? One of my all time favorite flowers. Another favorite is Lily of the Valley for the wonderful smell. I like the name Moses in th Bulrush. I used to have pots of the plant, but I do not remember any blooms.

  7. Willi Says:

    Nice pictures of our garden. I am so glad you got dirty. I don’t know if it is a family thing, but you certainly have a tendency to be curious and poke things with a stick or your toe. Sometimes you insist on it even when I tell you what it is i.e. tar on the gulf coast beach.
    Dilling: The trillium is a transplant. It grows across our creek. I waited until the blooms were almost finished. Then I dug well below the surface to be certain that I captured the rhyzome. I did not think it would work, but low and behold it did.

  8. daddy d Says:

    All that green is wonderful. You have a real base in the nature of plant. Such joy.

  9. I have some of my most clear thinking moments when my hands are in the dirt. There is just something deeply connective between earth and spirit when you are in the garden.
    Your photos are lovely. I wish I could have a cutting of each to put in my garden too!
    Thank you so much for your kind words at my blog. Your support and understanding is deeply appreciated.

  10. In the Bushes Says:

    I was looking at your pictures of the Moses in the bulrush, they are beautiful. I was given some of this plant by a dear friend who is an avid gardener. I have also heard this plant called “Purple Queen” and “Purple Majesty.” I also have a friend who calls it “Wandering Jew”; however, I have purchased a hanging plant in the past that I was told was a Wandering Jew that looked similar, but was definitely not the same plant as my “Moses in the bulrush”. The hanging plant that I call a “Wandering Jew” has varigated purple and green leaves (I have also seen version with just green varigated leaves). It has a similar fleshy feel to it, but it isn’t the same plant. It is beautiful and cascades down the planter and can get quite full and long. Am I mistaken in calling this particular hanging plant, my “wandering Jew”? Just curious~

  11. gawilli Says:

    In the Bushes – First let me tell you that I am not a plant expert, but I have seen the green and white, and green and purple varigated plants also called a Wandering Jew. The leaves on the ones I have seen have not been quite as thick, and my Moses in the Bulrush almost has a fuzzy feel to it. I do not know if they are related, however the appearance is – as you say – similar, but not they are definitely not the same.

  12. gawilli Says:

    In the Bushes – I should tell you also that I am so happy to hear you call this plant Moses in the Bulrush. I could not find a picture of it with that name on the internet and was wondering if this was just a name my family had coined. Thanks for stopping by! I would visit you, but you did not leave a link.

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