The roadsides are beautiful this year. Obviously the spring rains are contributing to the beauty. Queen Anne’s Lace is everywhere, and is so pleasing to the eye. Its name is very appropriate, as it indeed looks like you could make a wedding dress of it.
However, I understand that Queen Anne’s Lace looks like poison hemlock, a nasty plant.
Many people like to decorate with Queen Anne’s Lace and it makes a pretty dried plant. I remember my late friend, Lois Shannon, loved this plant and, being a “flower person,” she was always including it in a bouquet or using it dried on a card. I learned to love Queen Anne’s Lace from Lois Shannon.
The Day Lilies are also abundant now. I first became fully aware of these lovely flowers after I moved to Missouri. There were Day Lilies in Minnesota, but I don’t remember anything special about them.
When we moved to Missouri, we rented a house the first year. Our landlord and landlady were Dr. and Mrs. James Carter. I fell in love with these wonderful people right away. The house we rented from them had many, many Day Lilies and I came to admire them there. I never see them without thinking of the Carters and my thoughts are always good. I learned much about Neosho from them and a lot about other things as well.
Flowers are not “my thing” and I don’t know much about them, but I know which ones I like. There’s another eye catching flower that grows in the roadside ditches. I think it is called the Black Eyed Susan. It is a lovely flower and makes a beautiful bouquet.
One of the most spectacular wildflower is the Cone Flower, a beautiful native of the prairie. They are highly valued and picking them from roadsides is frowned on. Their roots sell for a high price in the Orient and that has put them in danger. But they really stand out in the ditch with their beautiful violet color, and their center is cone shaped and purple brown. Once someone has identified them to you, you can’t miss them.
A clump of Iris standing by themselves are often a clue that a house once stood nearby. Throughout the area that was once Camp Crowder there are stands of Irises near many old homesites. They are mostly purple or yellow and many have survived for 70 years or so. Oh, what tales they could tell if we could only communicate with flowers. Many would probably tell sad stories of families moving away. The people may be gone, but the Irises remained and thrived.
Kay Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.