Saturday, May 24, 2014

More Than Just a Pretty Place

 Every spring I try to deck out the Shawhan farm in beautiful flowers. I like to get a few perennials each year along with numerous annuals. My goal in time is to establish a lot of perennials so I only have to buy a couple of flats of annuals. It's a slow process because I tend to get overwhelmed at the greenhouses as I browse the perennials, thinking to myself, This would look good there, but what if I find something even better? Or my personal favorite, I'll buy that and it'll end up dead. (Which happened to a few of the perennials I planted last spring thanks to the harsh winter we had.) Flowers along the house, a couple of planters, my ginormous garden and some hanging baskets later, I must say the Shawhan farm looks pretty nice these days.

 My flower planning starts early since I roll up all the spare change we've collected over the year and take it to the bank. I always feel like a nerd carrying in my paper sack and asking them to cash in my coins. I try not to use car washes for this very reason. I can wash my car at home for free and save the $8 for flowers. This year I felt like a millionaire because we took some scrap metal to the recycling place and I had a decent wad of egg money to spend in addition to my cashed in mint.

 I think I did a pretty good job in selecting blooming buds and I'm happy as to where I planted them. I got two hanging baskets that I will religiously water all summer long. Even last summer as I was cooped up in the hospital recovering from my C-section, I strictly ordered Dan to go home every day and water my hanging baskets. The two I got this year, I had trouble deciding which one I wanted, so I just got both of them. They are beautiful and come from a Mennonite greenhouse that have amazing prices on all their flowers.

 The first few evenings in taking down the baskets and watering them, nothing out of the ordinary happened. Then just a couple of nights ago, I noticed something in one of my baskets...

Someone has decided to have her babies in my flowers! At first there just one egg, and now we are up to six! Every night there is a new egg inside the nest. I've carefully watered around it, but I'm not sure what's going to happen once they hatch and the nest is over packed with baby birds. I am honored the momma bird has picked my hanging basket to bring her chicks into the world in, but there is a selfish part of me that is afraid my basket of colorful blooms will eventually die. I also don't want the mother to abandon the nest, since I'll continue to water it.

 To the unknowing eye, this particular basket looks like any ordinary front porch decoration, but to me and a silly little bird, it's more than just a pretty place.

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