Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

For many people, Good Friday brings to mind religious beliefs involving sacrifice and salvation. It's also a day with it's own superstitions, one of which I actually cling to....

....never plant anything outdoors before Good Friday.

You see in the South, we get false spring. Often. You emerge from home one morning and robins are singing on the front lawn. That's sign #1. Sign #2 is the rebirth of the weed most gardeners consider a curse... the dandelion. Personally I love them but hey, I live in the country, not in a subdivision. Sign #3 is the air feels warmer, as if the sun is shining brighter in a sky so blue you wonder if it can be real. Everyone wants to be outdoors and if you're susceptible to gardening like my clan is, you feel that itch....the itch to plant. This first yen should be ignored.

Or you'll pay the price. Twice.

My grandmother, Memaw, always told me you should never plant before Good Friday. When I questioned if this was a religious belief she laughed. Then she explained that where we live, spring pretends to show up, we plant like crazy to make our yards lovely, then a sneaky frost comes along and kills everything. By waiting until Good Friday, which is governed by the moon phase for Easter, the last frost has usually occurred. You may see one more, but generally those too cool nights are behind you.

So I've stuck to that planting schedule...except for one year, about 15 years ago. And yes, every danged thing I planted was burnt by the frost and curled up to die.

The man who owns the outdoor market where I buy my plants use to laugh at me. He'd show me all the beautiful, tempting buckets of floral color and ask what I was going to buy. I'd smile and tell him, "I'll be back on Good Friday." He was confused the first time until I explained. Then laughed at me for believing an old wives' tale.

Two days later we had a helluva frost that smote everything in the yard which hadn't been established for years.

I returned on Good Friday to buy my plants and the Market Man grinned at me. "Okay, so you're right," he declared in defeat. "But please don't tell my other customers. Every last one of them had to come back today to buy another round of plants."

Yep, everyone but me.

So today, I planted the fiery red and yellow lantana I purchased from him yesterday. When I purchased them Market Man asked, "You're not planting that until tomorrow, are you?" Soon I can look forward to a burst of color from a lonely portion of the yard which previously had none.

And while I was out in the yard today, I grabbed my camera. Sometimes I don't think people really understand how big that pecan tree is in my front yard. So I stood at the end of our driveway and took this. I just wish the new guy farming the land around us would get a crop in!Thought maybe I'd walk up the driveway and take you with me.

The building on the right, which looks like a red barn,
is hubby's archery shop.

Yes, it's actually a pecan tree, not an oak!
She's a little lopsided now as severe storms 2 years in a row
sheared a giant limb off last year.

We almost didn't even look at this house because from the front,
it looked so small.
That's a dogwood tree to the right of the house and pink azaleas in front.

But as you can see, looks can be deceiving! The old gal goes waaaay back.

A bee investigating the azaleas asked me to share with you....

Have a Happy Easter!


Winifred said...

What lovely photos.

Here I never plant out until mid May. We can get late frosts so definitely not worth the risk.

My Mam had a saying "Never cast a clout until May is out." It meant don't leave off any clothes like vests, petticoats etc we wore in winter until the end of May.

Poetikat said...

That is one fantastic tree! Your house and property are lovely. Thanks for sharing the photos.
Around here, I never plant until I see my 85 year old neighbour putting his windowboxes in. He's an old hand and never messes up the timing.


Susan said...

I love the photos!

We're having a crazy year; I've planted nothing. Augh! But we have two thirty-foot polytunnels (long plastic greenhouses) to protect us from the frost and extend the growing season... when of course we use them. Augh again.

Happy Easter!

Corker2 said...

What a very nice looking Home. I would have no problem living out like you do. The further away from the "main stream" the better. No one around to bother you, but I would guess it has it's drawbacks.

Tell your Hubby that I used to do allot of Archery shooting years ago. Had a Jennings Split-T Compound Bow. My draw length was 33", cause I have such long arms. I don't hunt anymore, but it was sure nice to get out in the Autumn for Archery Season for Deer.

hope said...

Thanks Winifred...I like my little island of peace and solitude. Isn't it funny how many sayings we still cling to in the "modern" world? :)

Kat, I do love that tree! When our neighbor, who does tree removal for a living, came to finish cutting down the huge limb which had fallen, I sat there on the steps, flinching. He told me not to worry, he was safe and knew what he was doing. I grinned wryly and said, "I was flinching for the tree." ;)

Susan, after I got the Good Friday Lantanas in, the wind picked up like a hurricane! So I've quit until Monday, when hopefully the weather will even out. We had a HORRIBLE thunderstorm last night...sounded like it was August outside.

Corker: my Mom thinks it's odd that her "regular city neighborhood" children all picked something outside of suburbs. Two of us are in the country, the other somewhere in the woods of Washington State. Wow..that's quite a draw length! Then again, I went back to check your profile and you're a big guy. :) Hubby use to go deer hunting every year in Potter County in a place called Shinglehouse in western PA. Last year the guy advised them there would be no more hunts. It's hard to see a grown man on the verge of tears. :)

Dave King said...

Enjoyed the walk up your drive. Thanks for that. Had never heard the saw about not planting before Good Friday, though. I can see the wisdom of it.

hope said...

Dave thanks...and thanks for the proper e-mail address. :)