Reaping what others sowed

Published 4:17pm Sunday, October 13, 2013

Earlier this year, workers for the City of Wetumpka began an effort to tame some of the right-of-ways around town that likely haven’t seen any kind of blade in decades. Personally I’ve enjoyed the fruits of those labors ever since the trimming back of weeds and grass and thinning of underbrush began.
One of the areas where their labors have made a marked difference is along Company Street from Green Street to Highway 231. There are many other sections that have received attention, but I see that particular stretch every day – at least twice daily.
The clearing and cutting make the street seem wider and allow some filtered light through. Plus, the roadside just looks tidier and as though someone cares about it.
Right off the bat, I was entranced by the relics of former “home places” and walls revealed by the cleanup. I keep promising myself I will stop and take photos at several intriguing spots.
Even better, when the cooler weather began to creep in and spider lilies started to shove their way out of the ground they appeared in many of these recently-uncovered places. That rebirth from a cleared area is something I’ve encountered before and it always captures my imagination in a couple of ways.
I try to visualize the people who planted the original bulbs (or plants). I have to suppose they wanted to add color and beauty to their patch of ground. That’s the reason most gardeners I know go to the trouble of digging and planting.
Were the flowers they planted shared with them by friends as many of my own have been?
Did they wait eagerly the first year to see their blooms burst out and brighten a corner of their yard?
I think a bit about the plants themselves as well.
In my experience bulbs and seeds can lie fallow for many years until just the right conditions allow them to make a come-back. They quickly take advantage when the time is right.
As the spider lilies fade, I am already looking forward to whether or not those long-ago residents planted their share of spring bulbs, too. Hopefully in February or March, daffodils will spring up around the same spots.
I bet those gardeners of the past would be glad to know that their flowers are still being enjoyed 50 or 100 years later.
I know I would.
Until next week … and bless your hearts.

Peggy Blackburn is managing editor of The Wetumpka Her­ald and Elmore County Weekend. She can be reached at 334-567-7811. Her email address is

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