I went out this morning to find my Rose Campions in full bloom. They have been straggling along for the past week or so, a flower here and there, but this morning they are everywhere. And I mean everywhere! They are a wild little thing, spreading themselves more and more each year.
My first plants were given to me by Lorene, my eighty-six year old Sunday School teacher. She passed away last year at the age of ninety-one. Her yard was covered in these flowers that seem to do well in shade or sun. She told me that her mother first planted the flowers when she, Lorene, was just a small child.
It took me a year or so to determine exactly what these flowers are. Her mother called them Tame Mullein. I finally found a picture and description in Rodale's Landscaping With Perennials. "Rose campion is an old-fashioned perennial with elongated oval leaves covered in silver gray felt. The deep rose red, five0-petaled flowers are carried in open clusters atop woolly stems. Plants grow from fibrous-rooted crowns." The book also states that they bloom in the late spring, but I have found they they bloom sporadically throughout the summer in my yard, especially those in shady areas.
Now that Miss Lorene is gone, seeing them bloom is all the more special to me. I miss her as well as her Sunday School lessons and the many stories that she always told us about this mountain area.
Her first job was teaching school. She would live in the small community during the week, then on Friday afternoon, her father would come on horseback to pick her up. He would let her ride the horse back home and he would walk.
She and her husband raised three daughters and farmed for over sixty years. Her husband passed away when he was ninety-five years old. At ninety, she still loved her flower gardens, tended her chickens, kept her home and taught Sunday School every week. I am thankful that she managed to live at home alone until a very few months before she passed away.
She was buried on her ninety-second birthday. While it was a sad day for all of us, we knew that she was having the best birthday ever!
"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24