Tag Archives: Flowers

Flower Power

BlackeyedSusans-Zinnias IIDo you advocate being one with nature? Good luck with that. Flowers — especially mine — possess minds of their own.

May madness sent me to greenhouses and discount stores, lusting after flower displays, amassing bags of manure as if hefting bags of gold. My car (a.k.a. the Flowermobile) resembled an escapee from the Rose Parade.

For awhile, I dove into dirt with the joyful frenzy of a toddler dressed for Sunday school.

I cooed at my baby plants, positive they would star as celebrities on the cover of Burpee Catalog. All this, despite 35 years of profound evidence to the contrary.

Each August, I finally face the truth: flowers growing between railroad tracks look better than mine.

No wonder. We own the only infertile piece of ground in Indiana.

Still, I nurture my flowers. I even read my blog to them every week. Yet the little rebels conspire to make me crazy.

Maybe some of their gripes are legitimate. My flower pot arrangements look as if Alien Florists, Inc., designed them. My petunias now realize the awful truth: they were adopted by a gardener with a mutant thumb.

“Be patient,” I advise. “In time, those lumps will shift to the right places.”

My mother told me a similar tale when I was 13.

It has never happened — for the petunias or me.

While I sleep, a flora/fauna mafia operation flourishes. Impatiens on one side of the flower bed strike protection deals with the rabbits. How else can I explain why impatiens thrive there, unmolested, while the other side resembles the Garden of Eaten?

My flowers do not appreciate the armies of weeds I’ve fought, the lethal squads of mosquitoes I’ve defied to water them. No gratitude is expressed for expensive gourmet fertilizers I’ve served them. Just flower attitude: I will bloom if, when and where I please.

Meanwhile, the only thing that grows prolifically is my Visa bill.

Finally, I snap. Instead of pampering the little ingrates, I bike through the countryside. But I find no refuge from flowers there. Fields of elegant Queen Anne’s lace mingle with masses of fuzzy blue bachelor’s buttons. Blooming morning glories overrun miles of fences and fields.

“Rub it in, Lord,” I mutter. “Even cow pastures look better than my yard.”

Still, I can’t help but enjoy His exterior decorating and appreciate once more where flower power comes from. Even a Better Homes and Gardens guru can’t grow one petunia unless the Master Gardener supplies miracles of seed, soil, sun and rain.

The biggest miracle of all? He lets gardeners with mutant thumbs help Him.

PetuniasPot

Tell me about the Flower Power in your yard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Gotta Grow

PetuniaPatio

Oh, my God, when Hubby said, “Rachael, did you plant flowers under our patio table?” I answered, “Yeah, right.” But this stubborn petunia had bloomed from a crack in our patio, and instead of yanking it, I’ve watered it. OMG, You know I’m cracked, too. But let your beauty find a place to grow in me.

My Purple Passion: Violets

VioletsFourI first noticed these bashful flowers as a preschooler. While dandelions flaunted fuzzy beauty like Hollywood starlets, violet faces peered at me shyly through leafy green hands. Mom said I could pick them! — unless they grew in other people’s yards.

One day my sister and I gathered a legal but meager violet bouquet in our grandparents’ backyard — until we wandered toward the neighbors’ weathered house. It resembled a log cabin. Did Abraham Lincoln live there? Even that possibility paled beside the ocean of violets before us. God liked purple, too!

The serious business of picking them all consumed us. I knew we should ask permission, but loudly legitimized our actions by announcing we were gathering special flowers for Mommy and Grandma. When we brought them wilted, wadded bouquets, Mom confirmed my niggling conscience’s pointing finger. We had crossed moral boundaries. The good news: too late to do anything about it. I loved it when sin worked out that way.

Not long afterward, Grandma died, and I never visited the magic Sea of Violets again. But as I graduated from picking flowers to picking guys, I never forgot them.

The spring break before high school graduation, I took an all-day walk around my hometown. Like any respectable teen, I’d hated it for years. Now, deep inside, I knew I was leaving Columbus, Indiana, forever. One shabby bungalow’s yard stopped me in my tracks. Thousands and thousands of purple violets. Now 18 and an official grown-up, I didn’t dive in. But I stood, mesmerized, for sometime.

I hung that violet picture on my mind’s walls. When my then-boyfriend, now-husband asked about a prom corsage for my lavender dress, I answered, “Violets.” I loved them — and didn’t want him to feel obliged to give me an orchid, the obvious, expensive answer.

Unbeknownst to me, his mother would lie awake nights because she could not find a violet corsage.

“Haven’t used violets in 40 years!” one florist said. “What kind of nut is your son dating, anyway?”

Finally, she told Steve his girlfriend’s purple passion would have to take a different direction. How about white carnations? Pink roses?

Oh. I hadn’t thought of that.

My date, who had remained silent during this woman debate, decided on a white orchid.

The violet vision must have remained with my future mother-in-law, though. After a church banquet, she instructed Steve to give me its centerpiece, a huge bunch of violets. Did she like me? I hoped so. Whether she knew it or not, she had become part of my violet history.

VioletsMeadowWhich continues to this day. My purple passion still guides my walks. If I find violets in your yard, I just might pick them without asking. …