April 11, 1995
Ah, the azaleas are ablaze with color, the redbuds are exquisite, and the forsythia is bursting forth in bright regalia. Elm trees have leafed out, grass is greening, and pollen counts are spiraling upward. Hordes of golden dandelions are mysteriously and defiantly appearing everywhere. Wheat fields have turned that special rich shade we always hope to see in April. Temperatures and wind velocities are up one day, down the next. The first tornado alerts have been sounded by our TV friend, the weatherman. Yes, it is another great Oklahoma spring in Perry America.
I feel such shame and remorse when I drive by Seventh and Kaw and see that frail looking little lady, Helen Irwin, spading and weeding numerous flower beds, sometimes on her hands and knees, watering and feeding the gloriously colorful array of blooming bulbs and other flora in her yard, bearing in my mind all the while that because of a genetic defect I myself do not possess a green thumb. Laura does pretty well with her projects, but for my part I count it a triumph if the grass in our yard succeeds in surviving winterkill. And believe, not all of it does.
The gene problem alluded to above is just one of those freak things. My mother was a whiz with African violets and vines of ivy, which was appropriate because her name was Ivy. My sister Jeanice also could produce wildly beautiful plants. But my other sister, Gloria, and I were both skipped by whatever inheritable trait makes such things happen. Our attempts at gardening were predestined to fail. We were Presbyterians. We accepted it.
My landscape advisor has recommended that I aerate my entire lawn this year and follow that with application of gypsum and some chemical to increase the soil's acidity. Supposedly my soil is so tightly bound and so lacking in Ph content that grass chooses not to grow in it. I managed to find a friend who loaned me an aerator, but after getting the soil all ready for an application do you suppose that certain chemical is readily available? Not in this immediate area. Gypsum, yes, but not the other. I'm still looking and my lawn is still suffering from an acidity deficiency.
I do want to commend Mrs. Irwin on her lawn and its bright array of beautiful flowers. No doubt she enjoys it immensely, but she should know that the rest of us do, too, and we admire her tenacity and skill in producing such beauty for all to enjoy. Of course, there are other lovely yards in this city and each one of them is greatly appreciated. With our Main Street renewal and city beautification program getting back into high gear, there will be even more of these marvelous little oases around town.
Isn't this a great place to enjoy spring?