Friday, April 22, 2016

Remembering Ruth On Earth Day

April 22, 1970 - the first Earth Day. Forty-six earth days. I couldn't tell you what I've done each and every one of those days, but it has most often involved planting something.
The other 364 days of the year I do what I can, recycle, reuse, conserve resources, clean up litter. But the activity I most associate with earth day is planting a tree. It is what I did many times until we retired and no longer had the space for planting a tree.

While still on the farm, we planted a weeping willow and a pussy willow. I successfully moved a start of a white poplar from the location of our country school to our yard. (Ye olde school tree.) And I moved some of the peach trees out of the chicken pen to the east side of the chicken house. (Although they continued to sprout up inside the pen from the pits mom had thrown in there years before.)

Now, because of limited space, I usually plant a new herb or flower. This year, because today would have been my sister-in-law's 74th birthday, I am planting something in her honor.

I don't even remember ever hearing of penstemon (beardtongue) until at Ron and Ruth's when she showed me her plants and said it was one of her favorites.
I bought some plants like hers, the husker red which were prevalent and popular at the time. I learned to like penstemons, too.

I had no idea there were so many different plants in the Plantaginaceae family! I really wanted a husker red, but the only penstemon I could find locally was this pink penstemon barbatus. I haven't decided exactly where to put it yet, most likely in the space where the rose of sharon used to be and where the zinnias grew so well last year.

When I do set it in the ground, I will be celebrating earth day and remembering Ruthie and all the good times we had - like the one in this picture - the year we went on the Lenox-Clearfield garden tour. She and I, along with her youngest, my niece, Christine, had so much fun gathering ideas to use in our own flower beds and purchasing plants.

It isn't blooming yet, but the Columbine I got from Ruthie is one of the plants I did bring to our new home. I can still see it in her flower beds.
Happy Birthday, Ruth; Happy Earth Day.

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