The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Beautiful Blooms

There are two sayings about blooming flowers.

One says that April showers bring May flowers.

The second urges us to bloom where we are planted.

A beautiful example of May flowers that have indeed bloomed where they are planted can be found on N. Louise Street in La Harpe.

There along the street you can see flowers blooming on a woody shrub known as a tree peony, a member of the plant genus Paeonia.

The tree peony which is native to the Orient is different from the smaller peony plant common to this area.

Large white flowers grace the shrub in early spring. In addition to the beauty of the plant it also has a lovely scent.

Marta Kimble Logan's father, who was known locally as "Doc" Kimble originally planted the shrub in the 1960s.

Kimble was a mailman in Lomax and his wife was a nurse. Marta is the 2nd oldest of the couple's six children. Marta recently recounted how the beautifully tree peony attracted much attention in springtime when it blooms.

After her marriage to Jan Logan in 1963, Marta and her husband, both educators, lived in the house on Louise Street where the tree peony grows. Their home was close to the schools where they were employed.

Marta Logan taught for 19 years at the elementary and junior high level. At age 29 she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. When she could no longer climb the stairs to the upper level classes in the old elementary school in La Harpe she retired. She now calls La Harpe Davier Health Care Center home.

Her husband, Jan, was for many years the principal at the old La Harpe High School. He is now retired too but does occasionally substitute in the Burlington IA school district where he now lives.

In many ways, teaching is comparable to gardening. The teacher like the gardener cultivates the soil to produce a bloom. Children bloom through education as they learn to think and reason for themselves.

For Marta one of the rewards of teaching is to watch as the student finally "gets it", the look of understanding on their face as the world of knowledge opens up to them in much the same way as the flower bud opens into a bloom.

As the school year comes to a close, we can compare the advancing students to the beautiful flower of the tree peony. Students grow and reach for their goals in much the same way as the flower reaches for the sun. Each student will bloom where they are planted.