A Crinum Named Ellen

I love old flowers.

The names of antique roses and heirloom bulbs are so stately and old-fashioned. There are many heirloom flowers with “Madame” and “Mrs” attached to their distinguished name, to add an extra touch of aristocracy. I am incredibly fond of Duchasse de Brabant and Martha Gonzales…..but out of all the names of old flowers, an old southern bulb named Ellen might just be my favorite.

Ellen Bosenquat is one of those beautifully familiar flowers that every southern garden needs. Ellen is a charming Crinum sporting a bold and borderline obnoxious floral dress that would be seen at an old-fashioned Southern Ball . Ellen wears a shade somewhere between Frech-Prostitute-Rouge and screaming hot Fire-Engine Red. Whatever the color image, Ellen Bosenquat is a daring-to-be-seen, kind of flower.

I have a few clumps of Ellen Bosenquat that are near the duck pond (aka…the smal, green kiddie pool shaped like a turtle). This morning, after some rain, many of the Crinum were blooming. Crinum are like true Southern ladies…..they can’t be forced to do anything they don’t want to do, especially Bloom. It’s always a surprise who blooms when.

After the flood, there was a mass exodus of flowers and bulbs to my music studio. This past year,, I have enjoyed sitting back and “watching my flowers grow.” It has been extremely joy-filling to my soul to see which flowers are finally blooming in their temporary spots in the garden. After literally dumping thousands upon thousands of bulbs into random empty spots all over my make-shift gardens, I finally am enjoying the fruits of my labor. Gardeners sometimes forget they we need to step back and observe the Lord’s creative handiwork. We are simply the caretakers of His beautiful imaginative creation….I often forget that. I’m so busy digging that I forget the sit back and just “be”. Don’t get me wrong, garden plans and dreams are good….but so is being grateful for the one heirloom bulb, named Ellen Bosenquat, that decided to bloom one early morning in June.

I am never far from the reminders of the goodness of the Lord.. My gardens are a constant testimony of the survival quality that we all have, and the grit it takes to overcome obstacles that lay before us. Let’s face it….gardening is hard. Whether you are digging through Bermuda grass or granite rock, or simply moving your flower bulbs to a new place, nothing about gardening. Crinum like Ellen Bosenquat are the sweet reminders that “anything good and worthwhile takes work.”

Like Ellen, there is beauty to be found.

If you are unfamiliar with southern bulbs, feel free to email me any questions you have. I am glad to send you a little heirloom bulb starter kit, as my gift to you. Simply email heirloombulbgirl@gmail.com

Happy Gardening, my friends! May your gardens be filled with stately antique names, and may the beauty of a random flower bloom invigorate your soul.