1218. Flowers do not indulge in sentiment. They indulge in passion… Octave Mirbeau

Surely the flowers of a hundred springs
Are simply the souls of beautiful things!

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The poppies aflame with gold and red
Were the kisses of lovers in days that are fled.

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The purple pansies with dew-drops pearled
Were the rainbow dreams of a youngling world.

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The lily, white as a star apart,
Was the first pure prayer of a virgin heart.

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The daisies that dance and twinkle so
Were the laughter of children in long ago.

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The sweetness of all true friendship yet
Lives in the breath of the mignonette.

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To the white narcissus there must belong
The very delight of a maiden’s song.

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And the rose, all flowers of the earth above,
Was a perfect, rapturous thought of love.

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Oh! surely the blossoms of all the springs
Must be the souls of beautiful things.
~Lucy Maud Montgomery

My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi. ~Song of Songs 1:14  ✝

**All images via Pinterest; collage by Natalie

1176. Is not this lily pure? What fuller can procure a white so perfect, spotless clear as in this flower doth appear? ~Francis Quarles

And the stately lilies, fair in silvery light,
like saintly vestals, pale in prayer.
Their pure breath sanctifies the air, and
their luscious fragrance wanders
round and round the garden fair.
~Edited poem
by Julia C.R. Dorr

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Is White a Color?
White-pristine, unblemished-
They say it is not a color.
Yet I see white mists and clouds
Lingering on blue mountains.

White-no shades, no off white,
no cream-just white, pure as this lily
Or as snow on shimmering peaks.
‘Tis this, that’s my favorite sight.

The paper on which I write is white,
White that is clean and holy and pure.
They say that light too is white
Because it combines all the colors.

White is the mother of all colors, the
Churning of yellow, blue, green and so on.
It is the matriarch then of all colors,
The fountain of all extent colors.
~Excerpted, edited, and adapted verses
from a poem by John Matthew

[ She ] My beloved is mine and I am his; he browses among the lilies. ~Song of Songs 2:16  ✝

1169. It is a golden maxim to cultivate the garden for the nose, and the eyes will take care of themselves. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

In my garden there is a large place for sentiment.
My garden of flowers is also my garden
of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts
grow as freely as the flowers,
and 
the dreams are as beautiful.
~Abram L. Urban

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(Upper left is view out of other half of patio doors; upper right is another shot straight into the green house from my chair. Lower left is the swing house to right of the greenhouse and behind it is the giant oak and the storage shed; lower right is the rose arch over the small porch outside of Natalieworld)

After a recent post where I showed part of my garden and some of the flowers that are blooming now, I received many lovely comments. So I decided to post one more glimpse of my yard and what’s currently blooming. The Texas Heat Beast has definitely arrived, and since he’s stoking up summer’s fiery heat, lots of what I have blooming now will soon be gone. A measure of things will revive in the fall, but there is much more that sadly won’t be back again until next year. Only the hardiest make it through summer’s inferno in Texas, and what I always miss most as we endure the torrid, feverish trek through July and August and September is an unrivaled allure of the ethereal and delicate nature of flowers that beautiful spring proffers.

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(Upper left is more of the allium that’s beginning to bloom; upper right is a double daylily; lower left is a lily; lower right is that same lily before it popped open.)

A garden is always a series
of losses set against a few
triumphs, like life itself.
~May Sarton

[ She ] My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to browse in the gardens and to gather lilies. ~Song of Songs 8:13  ✝

**All images taken by me in and of my yard.

1147. What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet. ~William Shakespeare

All the names I know from nurse:
Gardener’s garters, Shepherd’s purse,
Bachelor buttons, Lady’s smock,
And the Lady Hollyhock.
~Excerpt from a poem
by Robert Louis Stevenson

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What’s in a flower’s name? Goodness knows!
Surely you all know some of them, I suppose.
I’ve heard some say a rose is a rose is a rose,
But is a lily a lily by any other name like the rose.
Some time ago I discovered that the answer is no,
For in my garden fair grow some that are not so.
There are daylilies and spider lilies and crinum lilies,
Basket lilies and blackberry lilies and asiatic lilies.
However, only one of those is true to its name.
Could you guess which one if this were a game?
Furthermore there’s even one “un-lily” that’s referred to by
Yet another name which is indeed just as false a lie.
Sometimes that particular one is called a Peruvian daffodil,
Like yellow “daffadowndillies” which define spring so well.
And then there is one more that’s not really a lily
Whose leafy spears resemble the iris; isn’t that just silly?
So though, by any other name they might “smell” as sweet,
Five of these names in the true lily family shall we not meet.
~Natalie Scarberry

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“…rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” ~Excerpt from Luke 10:20  ✝

**Some images in the collages are mine; others were found on Pinterest. The groups of two in each category are of the same species and arranged in the order I mentioned them in my poem.

515. If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales. ~Albert Einstein

Child of the pure, unclouded brow
And dreaming eyes of wonder!
Though time be fleet and I and thou
Are half a life asunder,
Thy loving smile will surely hail
The love-gift of a fairy tale.
~Lewis Carroll

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The Toadstool

THERE ‘s a thing that grows by the fainting flower,
And springs in the shade of the lady’s bower;
The lily shrinks, and the rose turns pale,
When they feel its breath in the summer gale,
And the tulip curls its leaves in pride,
And the blue-eyed violet starts aside;
But the lily may flaunt, and the tulip stare,
For what does the honest toadstool care?
She does not glow in a painted vest,
And she never blooms on the maiden’s breast;
But she comes, as the saintly sisters do,
In a modest suit of a Quaker hue.
And, when the stars in the evening skies
Are weeping dew from their gentle eyes,
The toad comes out from his hermit cell,
The tale of his faithful love to tell.

~Oliver Wendell Holmes

They send forth their children as a flock: their little ones dance about. ~Job 21:11   ✝

**Today is my daughter’s birthday, and although she’s a grown woman with children of her own, I always loved reading her fairy tales when she was young.

413. 
When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other. ~Chinese Proverb

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Lilies–as tall as ourselves and more lovely,
and full of fragrance, and long orange tongues,
and those playthings the bees–stood in

a neighbor’s yard, a thick, ramping
hedge of them.  You could not help but see
that to be beautiful is also to be simple

and brief; is to rise up and be glorious, and then vanish;
is to be silent but as though a song was in you only it
hasn’t yet been heard…

~Excerpt from the poem, The Book, by Mary Oliver

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. ~Psalm 23:1  ✝

395. A wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the lover of the gift. ~Thomas à Kempis

God waits to win back his own flowers
as gifts from man’s hands.
~Rabindranath Tagore

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It was late summer when she, my neighbor down the street, called to ask if I wanted a Crinum Lily. She said she had planted one in her yard but that it was in too much shade to bloom. Up front let me just tell you that only because I’d wanted a pink Crinum for years and had not been able to acquire one that I would have even considered saying yes at that time of year, trudge on down to her house on foot with shovel in tow, and dig the thing up out of heavy clay soil under the scorching heat of the Texas sun. However after having been captivated by this lily years before, I endured the blistering heat, dug the bulb up, and brought it back down to my garden. And as soon as I recovered from my near heat stroke, I cut all the long, heat-beleaguered strappy foliage down to almost nothing, found a spot in my garden where I thought it would thrive, and put it in the ground. Soon my prized acquisition began to show new growth, and I was thrilled. Then in early December we had one of the worst ice storms I’ve ever seen here and for days the frozen remains blanketed the ground. During that time I kept hoping against hope that when I could get out to check on it, the new “baby” would have survived the ice-bound onslaught. But sadly what I found days later was foliage that had turned to brown mush. Since it had been so newly planted before the early, brute force of the icy assault, I gave up hope that it would make a come back. But sure enough after the start of the new year, it did, and again I was thrilled. Then in early March we had the hardest, late freeze on record, and again in the aftermath I found nothing but a stub of brown mush where my hope had so recently be restored. Surely I thought to myself, it won’t make it back this time, but as spring warmed the land, I started seeing new growth where twice my hope had been dashed, and I was thrilled. At long last June came, and I had lots of lovely green foliage. As late as it was, however, I put away hope for flowers this time around thinking that it had suffered too much, too soon to bloom. So you can imagine my surprise and delight when I went out two days ago to find a tall stalk with buds on it had shot up almost overnight. Despite recent rains, I have been able, however, to capture the beauty of that which had previously been only a memory of something incredibly lovely I’d stumbled upon long ago in another’s garden. Isn’t it amazingly loving how without asking the Lord often grants us a thing of our heart’s desire out of the blue! I am thrilled. I am blessed. I am grateful.

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A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great. ~Proverbs 18:16  ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.