Dear Sunday Letter friends~
Did you remember to spring forward this morning? It seems like a whole month has passed since my last Sunday Letter, but lo, it has only been one week (and an hour). And in that time, the neighborhood daffodils have exploded.
Yay for that.
Here There and Everywhere
In the past few days, I’ve traveled here and there and everywhere, spreading the word of Bernice (and Gracie Lee and Gene) to all who invite me to speak. Sometimes I imagine myself a circuit rider carrying a tiny bit of wit and wisdom in a saddlebag (not to be confused with circus performer, although I wouldn’t decline a swing on a trapeze).
Other times I feel a bit like Mr. Haney toting books all over God’s half acre in the floorboard of Betty White.
Circuit rider, circus performer, mobile bookstore owner—I am grateful for each opportunity, and I have never declined a doable invitation.
You, readers, are my sunshine!
When You Resemble Your Pets
When Gracie and Annabelle go to the groomer, they always return wearing a seasonal bandana. Last week’s green polka dots will coordinate perfectly with upcoming St. Patrick’s Day.
When I spoke at the Maple Hills Garden Club on Thursday, I wanted to wear something green for spring (even though it was chilly and raining that morning). Turns out I have very little green in my wardrobe, aside from several Baylor T-shirts and a green polka dot sweater.
I do adore polka dots.
It wasn’t until I was almost out the door that I realized all the girls in the family were dressed in matching outfits. And of course, such coordination called for a photo.
Some days you just have to pause and laugh at yourself.
Also, did you know polka dots came into fashion in the 1840s, named after the Polka dance?
The Good and the Bad
Look at our crocus showing off in the still dormant grass. Do you think the crocus is pretty enough to distract from our two large and extremely pathetic-looking Schip Laurels?
Although impossible to tell from this view, hiding deep down in the Schip Laurels are green stems and new buds. But yikes. After three years of extreme weather, these guys look sad. And guess what? We have a whole row of these shrubs along our side fence.
For now we are in wait-and-see (and pray) mode. And after a spring haircut, I am crossing my fingers they will fully recover. Schip Laurels are bee magnets, and I’d hate to lose them.
Do you have shrubs that look to be hanging on by a thin root?
Solitary Bee Nests
Lest you think our garden is always lush and green, today is evidently the day I pull back the curtain and show you how pitiful things sometimes look.
We have a section of side yard (and I use the term ‘yard’ loosely) where grass is extremely sparse. We sow grass and clover seed every season, a bit takes, but mostly we wait for the weeds to turn it green and praise every single tiny weed flower brave enough to bloom there.
This year I’m happy to say our sketchy side yard now has an important use. Solitary bees have claimed it as their nesting ground!
See the hole? There are lots of these small holes throughout our side yard—a sure sign of nesting bees.
I bet there is someone out there about to tell me how they hate bees / avoid bees / are allergic or terrified or had a life-altering childhood experience in 1952 while playing Red Rover at Timmy Smith’s birthday party. And to that I say, I’m truly sorry for your allergy / fear / dramatic childhood experience. Feel free to scroll past this section. We do what we need to do to get down the road.
For those of you still reading—the truth is nesting bees are docile. (I mean, most anything will sting when provoked.)
According to the Bee Conservancy, 70% of the world’s 20,000 bee species live largely solitary lives and lay eggs in underground nests. While honey bees pollinate one third of the food we eat, native bees are responsible for pollinating 80% of the world’s flowering plants.
The female mounds the freshly dug soil around her entrance and stockpiles the ‘nursery’ with pollen and nectar for her offspring. Some varieties even line their nests with a cellophane-like secretion, providing a waterproof barrier that also helps to keep eggs safe from fungal disease. (Gardeners Path)
So there you go.
Things Momma Says:
It’s a shame we couldn’t be singers.
Thanks for being here and reading this Sunday Letter. EIGHT DAYS til Spring! That’s something to celebrate.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.