When my father-in-law finally retired at the age of 70, he was at last able to spend time doing what he really, really loved to do ... and that was planting! I think perhaps that he looked back with nostalgia to the the first 15 years of his life that were spent on a little farm in what was then Hungary but is now Slovakia, tilling the soil with a donkey, immersed in small-town rural Europe before the first world war changed everything so dramatically. Or perhaps he just simply enjoyed the feel of soil on his hands but regardless of his reason, my father-in-law really did love to plant.
My husband says that every time he came home from work, it seemed like his father had planted something new! He planted fruit trees and currant bushes and hedges galore! All of which had to be patiently watered by hand from an old-fashioned hand pump, bucket by bucket carried out to keep those little seedlings alive. And for some reason, my father-in-law took a special liking to Rose of Sharon. As a result, we are surrounded by beautiful Rose of Sharon bushes.
So today, on Marvelous Monday, I am extremely thankful for my late father-in-law, who spent hours planting those beautiful Rose of Sharon bushes that now grace our home with such beauty. This past weekend, they all began to flower, their lovely big blooms opening up for the enjoyment of humming birds, bees, and butterflies and even the occasional human!
My father-in-law planted quite a few different colours of Rose of Sharons, including a number of bushes where several colours have been grafted on to the same plant. It's lovely to see all the different shades.
Some are deep pink, and others have a blue tinge. There are two different types of white blooms, the one above with the red centre, and one other that isn't open yet. It is a soft white colour with a buttery yellow centre. I think it's actually my favourite, but I do love them all.
When I sit on our front porch in the evening, resting on our swing, this is the beautiful view I get to enjoy.
And what makes it particularly beautiful is that although the Rose of Sharon are just opening up now, they will last for the rest of the summer and well into the fall, a wonderful reminder of my father-in-law and his love of planting.