It's quite easy to have one's mind clouded by the electronic gadgets that vie for attention. Dare we put down a cell phone? Who would want to miss the latest blather on daytime television? If we miss the latest Facebook post, maybe someone will "unfriend" us and life will be diminished.
For those reasons, and a few I likely forgot, it's refreshing to look at the flower gardens in our towns.
Flowers offer intricate beauty, not unlike that of a newborn baby. They offer countless opportunities to gaze into their ornate designs and wonder about their Creator.
It seems that older homes have wonderful floral displays in abundance. It might be true because some have annuals which pop up by themselves, and spread over time.
The brilliant orange daylilies are such an example. They are seen on roadsides and in many yards. Some even grow in my dooryard unattended. They produce an abundance of color unmatched by tubes of oil paint colors.
I noticed a green insect in one of the orange blossoms outside the back door and had to photograph it for posterity, though I doubt anyone would care.
There is a home on Dias Creek Road where sunflowers abound and bring joy to my heart with each passing.
Profusions of color are found along Mechanic Street in Court House, in well-tended front yards. They are a wonderful mixture of the Almighty's handiwork and the wisdom of a human planter who knows what colors and heights are to be expected.
There are hydrangeas on barrier islands and tucked around side yards offshore which proclaim summer has finally arrived. Those huge, bulbous flowers are seen in a variety of delicate colors from blue to purple.
If one can find a parking spot in Cape May, there are breath-taking gardens to be seen as one walks the sidewalks of the city.
Floral displays are an expression of time and caring. I cherish the recollections of my grandmother who loved morning glories, since they seemed to blossom in late summer. My father was a fan of zinnias. He had to plant them in the back garden to add red and yellow flowers. While he adored his tomato plants, he wanted zinnias too, as well as some marigolds and bachelor buttons.
He also had a humble sign near the garden which encouraged him: “The kiss of the sun for pardon; the song of the birds for mirth; you are nearer God’s heart in a garden, than any place else on earth.”
That meant a time commitment, first to prepare the ground, then to lovingly plant the packets of tiny seeds, and then to water and weed them. Gardens are not easy things. They are much like infants which clamor for attention, although they bellow in silence for attention and water.
Gardens are largely ignored. Take as an example one on the south side of the Historic Courthouse on North Main Street in Court House. It is there one will find beauty blowing in the wind, a profusion of color where one would not normally be expected.
Often, it is the person who tends the garden, who most enjoys the color and the scent that its flowers afford. That's because many are in backyards where they cannot be seen by the public.
Garden clubs exist in various towns throughout the county. If there are unsung heroes among us, club members are certainly ones to be counted. They labor on their knees, pulling weeds and making sure flowers have adequate water and food to properly display their grandeur. They are selfless people whose work is routinely ignored or dismissed as unimportant.
Unless one takes the time right now to enjoy the blooms, the opportunity will be gone. In a few weeks, the colors will fade and the blossoms fall, then the awe-inspiring colors will be but a memory unless one snapped some photos.
I urge readers to put aside those electronic gadgets and gaze upon the beauty that nature and some gardener has provided. The colors and designs on those stems are simply astounding; their beauty cannot be adequately described. No electronic contraption can be their equal.