But yesterday was one of those winter days in the Pacific Northwest that some of us selfishly keep secret from the rest of the country.
If people knew how absolutely gorgeous it can be up here, and how worth all the gray it is, we might be over-run with tourists, or experience even more of the population explosion inspired by Starbucks, Amazon and Microsoft!
At this time of year, when it’s only light out for 7 hours or so, I can’t think of anything more optimistic than a Primrose! They show up in the dead of winter. They are relentlessly cheerful! And they presumptuously assume they will be back again next year!
I first learned about them from my best friend’s mother, Lucille, who each year would fill her front door area with these welcoming little splashes of color. When she could no longer make it out to plant, one of us would do it for her…right up until her final year.
I watch for the first batch to show up every year, in my yard…
But I also watch at my grocery store (I know, I know) and this year, they are already here!
10 for $10.00!! Pretty cheap so I always load up. You’d think because they are a perennial I wouldn’t need to replenish my own garden each year. I don’t, but still, I can’t resist. there’s always some little spot for another one. Some of mine are 6 and 7 years old!
One year I had an idea.
I live on a long, very unusual, dead end street that’s a country-like oasis in the middle of a ritzy city. (When I moved here over 45 years ago, there were only 3 other houses and we all had horse acreage! Now there are 25 homes!)
Though our peaceful country lane has built up over the years, we have scored big-time in wonderful neighbors. Most everyone knows everyone and we all watch out for each other.
On that one year, we had just lost one of our earliest residents, a dear, sweet gentleman. He had an unexpected heart attack. In my search for something supportive to do in his honor on this somber occasion, I kept thinking of the story of Johnny Appleseed.
I headed for the grocery store…and then late that night, the houses on the lane gone quiet, I sneaked out to plant a Primrose in every single yard, in honor of our sweet neighbor. Almost everyone figured out I was the Primrose Fairy, because they knew how obsessed I was with these hearty little flowers, but I don’t care. I kinda like my reputation of being the oldest (and maybe strangest) neighbor on our street.
And to this day, each year, when the first Primroses show up, to honor the memory of Arul, always a smile and kind word for his neighbors, I take one down the lane to his widow. He was truly a Peach of a guy!
I have also made a habit of welcoming the new neighbors to our street by leaving them a surprise Primrose to plant or just enjoy for a while. I just left two more this morning. Now that I’ve been here the longest, I like sharing the history of our street with the newcomers.
So now, I give you the Primrose (and remind you of the story of Johnny Appleseed).
Thanks for reading and please comment if you like.
Couldn’t resist posting for Cee’s Challenge today because the Primrose is my favorite flower. There is something delightfully symbolic for me in the fact that one flower genus can have such dramatic variety of species…(did I get that right?)
Kind of like people…
I have to confess, I started liking them because I had a more difficult time killing them than any other flower. (My thumb is a dirty brown, not at all green!)
But I fell all the way in love with them when I discovered the true meaning of the word “perennial”. They show up year after year after year, and always at my lowest point, in what should be the dead of winter. These beautiful little bursts of color are just hard to keep down!
This is a reminder I need in my life!
The Primrose has become our neighborhood’s official flower. Every new neighbor gets primroses in honor of our history.
Here’s a post from a while back. Hope you’ll read it and let me know what you think.