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Bill Ellis: Plants and flowers can live throughout the winter

Mar. 15, 2013 @ 12:07 PM

I was born and grew up surrounded by mountains. The most flatland I ever saw was when we moved to Putnam County, June 2, 1947. Our possessions arrived in the Carbon Fuel Coal Company truck driven by Bob Johnson, one of the finest men I ever knew. My parents, Clarence and Goldie Ellis, Marie, Eldridge and I were delivered to this “promise land” by the Rev. John L. Shinn, a bi-vocational minister and welder for the coal company, the man who set me on the path for my entire career.

Plants of all kinds, shapes and sizes surrounded me. Living plants are essential in order for humans and animals to have the necessary oxygen to inhale. We exhale carbon dioxide that plants must have. Kitty and I have living plants in our house all year.

We look forward to the beautiful Amaryllis each year, poinsettias, lilies and an aloe plant is in the kitchen as it is very effective to treat a burned finger in the cooking process.

If I need to know about a flowering plant, I call Charles or Gloria McCane of the Hurricane Floral Gift Shop and my high school classmate, Charles Keeling, for information about tomatoes or honeybees. After arriving in Scott Depot, I met 5-year-old “Butch” Sovine, now owner of Putnam Gardens, who is the “go to friend” when it comes to growing flowers, shrubs, trees and anything in the plant family.

A month ago, I noticed flowers growing in my yard and now others are up through the soil. In just five days, “Spring will have sprung.”  

In a short time, everything from African violets to zinnias, all of it from A to Z will bloom and produce nature’s perfumes.

Dorothy Parker called the flowers, “Heaven’s masterpiece.” Henry Ward Beecher said of the flower, “The sweetest thing God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.”

Dale Hammer, a printer by trade, passed along some tips for taking care of the Amaryllis bulbs during the winter time in the October 1991 issue of “Midwest Living.” He stored the bulbs every fall in a big paper sack in an unheated room. During the winter, he would pot a few bulbs for indoor blooms and gifts. After the blooms faded, he would snip them off and stake the stalks and left them in place for the rest of the season.

I usually excel in raising a big crop of dandelions and violets, but I do appreciate those who have the beautiful flower gardens.

This is a good way to add beauty and fragrance to your daily life. Jesus, when speaking about worry, said, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow . . . even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these . . .” (Matthew 6:28-29) and be sure to read on through verse 33.

During the 25 years we lived in Decatur, Ill., for many of those years, I was invited to be the banquet speaker and pray with the Illinois State Florists Convention at the large Holiday Inn complex.

Bill Ellis is a syndicated columnist who can be reached at P.O. Box 345, Scott Depot, WV 25560; phone 304-757-6089.