Marsha Knits

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Name: Marsha Brofka-Berends
Location: US

Marsha knits . . . and reads and cooks and edits and gardens and hikes and thinks and eats and photographs and sings and writes and travels and plans and hopes and . . .

26 May 2007


The mid-spring flowers are all gone now, with just a few azalea blooms holding on. The dogwoods are fully leafed out, and the last of the lily-of-the-valley--a charming, fragrant flower that appears for only a week or so--said farewell a few days ago. Now we're surrounded by rhododendrons, for which I have a soft spot after living in coastal Oregon, where the "rhodies" grow wild in the mountains and the arrival of spring with is celebrated with a rhododendron festival. The early-summer flowers are showing up, too: lilies, roses, dianthus. I love them all, but I'm especially fond of the blooms that bravely show up when there's still a chill in the air, reminding us that, yes, spring is indeed just around the corner.

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03 May 2007

"Earth laughs in flowers"

Every spring, when the forsythias, dogwoods, magnolias, lilacs, azaleas, daffodils, and tulips put on their annual show, I'm reminded of these words penned by Emerson. Of course, this phrase is part of a longer passage about humanity's inability to escape death, but I still like it in the context of thinking about spring and nature and renewal. My SP10 hostess, Kerry, has asked everyone in her group to post about their favorite flowers. That's a really difficult task, because I'd be hard pressed to name a flower I didn't like. I even find dandelions sort of appealing. Right now, though, I'd have to say that my favorite flowers are these giant red tulips growing in my front yard. Jan and I moved into this house in the fall a few years ago, and shortly afterward his father, who is Dutch and lives in the Netherlands, came to visit. While he was here, my father-in-law, a horticulturalist who knows pretty much everything about plants, planted about three hundred tulip, daffodil, and crocus bulbs around the house, mostly in the front. Squirrels dug up most of the crocuses, but every spring we get to enjoy a magnificent display of yellow and white daffodils, followed by tulips in almost every size and color imaginable.

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27 April 2007

Ghost trees

Whenever I go for a walk in the woods in the spring after (or during) a rain, I'm always struck by the contrast between the water-dark wood of tree bark and the tiny new fresh-green leaves. The contrast is especially strong with dogwoods, whose just-opened new flowers are a pale green. It's easier to get a sense of this ethereal quality when in an actual forest and not in the suburbs, surrounded by neighbors' homes. But the half a dozen dogwoods on our property (a happy legacy of previous owners) are enough to take me a real forest in my own Proustian moment.

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