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.


Tell me about the Flower Power in your yard.


















2 thoughts on “Flower Power

  1. Jodi McDermitt$

    Even though I make a valiant effort, my gardening is like being a hospice nurse for whatever green thing has given up the will to thrive. I nurture and water and love, but alas….my black thumb prevails and they move on to the Big Flowerbed in the Sky.
    The weeds, though….they are fighters with rubber wristbands that hang on and tough it out.
    So I pamper the dandelions and the weeds that try so hard and pretend they are flowers…maybe the difference between a flower and a weed is just perspective. I remember long ago, when my toddler brought me yellow dandelions in her chubby little fist, presenting them to me like precious roses. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
    Thinking about myself, sometimes when I feel like a scraggly weed, God smiles down on me and nurtures me, viewing me as HIS beautiful rose.
    I’m glad I am cared for by such a wonderful gardener.

    1. rachael Post author

      For having a black thumb, Jodi, you and your flowerbeds sure grow lovely thoughts! Isn’t God the Gardener amazing? Eden’s Creator considers us part of His artistry.

      (On the prosaic side: When someone sends me a houseplant, I feel it’s only fair to inform it that it has arrived at the equivalent of a plant concentration camp. Only philodendrons survive here.)


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