Yes I am that annoying customer that will call the store and complain if I feel that I purchased something that did not live up to my expectations.
Many years ago when I first started my addiction to gardening, down on my knees, I was proud when I finished planting two flats of annual impatiens flowers totaling 96 tender plants in multiple shades of pink, one hole at a time. All of the colorful seedlings received a glistening shower from my hose as they settled in for their first night in their new home.
When the sun came up, I couldn't wait to see the fruit of my labor and marvel at the color I had imposed against the greenery only to be completely disappointed. Something was very wrong with the impatiens and my first thought was it had to be the fault of the garden center.
So I dialed their number, asking for an explanation, letting them hear of my displeasure, receiving adament push back from the employee about the quality of their stock and just as the words were vomiting from my tongue I looked back out to give a more detailed discription of the problem only to see the family of bunnies had returned for desert.
"Oops!" I said, "Never mind my complaint. I apologize," hanging up before I had to explain more and since then I have come to learn that there has not been one tender annual in my yard that the rabbits will not eat except one. Begonia; the flower that had always been my least favorite until I accepted it was the only one with staying power since it apparently was not a fan favorite of the Leporidae family, a.k.a. the Eastern Cottontail.
So what is my favorite annual flower? My least favorite has won over my favor, since all on its own it had somhow figured out that there is always a category in which to win first place.
As for the rabbits, they still eat. But they can have all the weeds they want.
Never really thought about a “favorite” flower before, but:
I like the smell of honeysuckle when it hits you unexpected like, when you are just walking, your mind adrift, and the scent seeks you from out of the blue.
I like a magnolia, 40’ tall and covered in giant, white blooms. Reminds me of home.
I like the heartiness of a dandelion. Little SOB never gives up til you get his roots.
I like the azaleas when I watch The Masters, and the cherry blossoms in DC, the peach blossoms in Atlanta, and a ’Nawlins fuscia.
I like the clematis Pooky-Bear planted on the back fence.
But mostly I like the smell of a honeysuckle when I am walking.
Delicate gown-shaped blooms hover above a cloud of silver-green leaves; we planted the first seeds years ago, light pink and deep fuschia and royal purple and fairytale blue. I didn’t expect them to last - the plants look insubstantial, and our frosts strike mercilessly. Yet somehow they thrived, the new leaves sprouting in silver haze every spring. Something went wrong, some cross-pollination or fluke mutation, which turned the clean flare at the bell of the petals to ruffles. The princess-gown silhouettes now flounce multilayered petticoats in pale purple-blue. Nearby the plant with pink flowers nods prettily in the breeze, fuschia shoulders giving way to crisp cream skirts. Most of the current generation is in shades of purple, and I can’t help thinking of Mendel and his pea flowers. The flowers fade into coronet seedheads who wave and rattle and tip their lustrous black beads to the soil, sowing next summer’s beauty. A hummingbird darts by, startled by my presence into an emerald blur. When I leave she will feed, maneuvering easily as though buoyed up by some unseen force as her slender beak dips to drink from the nectar. For now, though, the gowned ladies dance to the rattling of the seeds.
A rose is a rose is a rose ...
The above photo shows you the Caldwell Pink Rose
“A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.” was written by Gertrude Stein as part of the 1913 poem “Sacred Emily”, which appeared in the 1922 book Geography and Plays. In that poem, the first “Rose” is the name of a person. Stein later used variations on the sentence in other writings, and “A rose is a rose is a rose” is among her most famous quotations, often interpreted as meaning, “things are what they are”, a statement of the law of identity,
Now that that bit of trivia is out of the way, the above photo, I took at the Rose Gardens in Tyler, Texas (known as the rose Capital of America. They provide 60% of the roses sold each year), several years back. The Tyler Municipal Rose Garden is the nation’s largest rose garden, spanning 14 acres, with over 38,000 rose bushes of rare and cultivated roses. Varied colors from red, white, pink, blue, yellow, sea-green and purple. Some, to the touch have a velvet texture, others silky, but all are beautiful. You would be hard-pressed to find two identical strains of roses there.
When I lived in Tyler, I would go there three or four times a year just because it is such a calming atmosphere. Every October they have a Rose Festival and Parade and they also have a Rose Museum. I just recently found out that last year (2019), they were added to
the National Register of Historic Places (maybe this might get added in to your bucket list).
There is also an area situated in the Garden; a 1-acre Heritage Rose and Sensory Garden, which has antique rose varieties dating to 1867. Situated in the southwest corner of the Garden, it contains over 30 varieties of 19th century garden roses, along with many perennials which bloom all summer long.
It’s like walking around in a special place set aside from heaven, pure and simple.
There many names for the roses at the Rose Garden. One, named Marilyn after Marilyn Monroe. A few other named roses are: Belinda’s Dream ... Sea Foam (a climbing rose if I remember right) Cecile Bruner ... Red Cascade (this one can grow to 6 to 7 feet wide, so you better have ample space available) ... Butterfly Rose, and Caldwell Pink just to mention a few.
I won’t profess to having a green thumb even if (God bless her), my mother tried to show me the way, but I know what I like, and for me, that’s all that matters. What else can I say? I’m a sucker for beauty.
While this challenge is running, I will change the photo once each day so you can see other portions of the special place.
with all that is going on, it seems weird writing a post about a flower.
but I came across this challenge and could not resist.
Angraecum are a genre of orchids that live primarily in equatorial africa, madagascar, and sri-lanka. the flowers are pure white and the plants can range in size up the a few feet in hight.
now, what makes them so remarkable is the structure if the flower.
as with most flowers which produce nectar, they make an effort to attract the RIGHT pollinator, so that the chances of successful pollination will rise. Angearicum deal with this challange by forming long funnels at the base of the flower, inside the funnel, at the very tip , the prized nectar awaits. as that it takes an effort to reach that way, only a butterfly with a long enough proboscis may gain the prize.
Angraecum sesquipidale, took this to the extreme . the funnel it grows is 12 inches long. could you imagine insects zooming around, attracted by the wobderful smell, only to get completely frustrated, as they are just not equipped to get the good stuff?
so who is the lucky winner?
Charles Darwin wondered the same thing. he was fascinated with orchids, and saw in them a good example of his theories. flowers and butterflies adapting and collectively fine-tuning their traits, to optimize survivability and propagation. for many years no one could find that wander bug, with a drinking straw that was so long. long after Darwin died, the culprit was found. a single moth , was captured making a midnight visit at the flower. the moth was never seen before, because it was night time, when it searched for the only meal, made just for him, by the eager Angreacum.
now. how does that help in life? it cheered me up, thinking how wonderous the world is. despite all the dangers, and ugliness , the boredom and frustration, despite all that, the world is still beautiful, and we have so much we can still know.
so do not make harsh conclusions about your existance, before you’ve seen an angreacum sesquapidale in bloom.
Field of Daisies
Upon the field of Daisies, under the sapphire blue sky,
two butterflies flying passing by…
As if heaven is being captured at a framed movie poster,
time freezes here:
Eternity of peace and tranquility.
You and I, hand in hand,
roaming along a field of Daisies...
Smiling, jumping, running, and playing around,
just like that two butterflies.
Time is irrelevant,
What about the agenda at work,
what about the shortening of day time,
the endless trafficking on the highway,
your midterm due essays and papers,
my ultimatum set up by parents:
jobs, marriage or kids; Or
my forever never-ending fear of
traversing across this earth plane,
without making a mark, a renounced foot-print… However,
Nothing matters here,
just you and me,
two happy light-hearted butterflies, slowly
gliding upon this field,
under the heavenly azure blue sky
Heaven is right here, right this very moment,
when I laid my head upon the field of cheerful daisies…
warm fluffy sunlight kissing upon the cheeks and lips,
Cheeks blushing, when
your longing luscious lips, met with
my wanderlust inquisitive eyes.
This moment been put off for too long,
millions of lives’ time...
rushing or running around in circles; Yet,
life finally brought us together,
two souls pulled even closer;
the center field of daisies:
sweet fresh grass, soft flower petals, and
forever dancing sparkling sunbeam,
butterfly wings winking at your eye-lashes..
we finally become one.
I don’t know the proper name. Everyone said “wild onion”. So am I.
Eye catching combination of pink and white, giving a girly vibe when it bloom.
Want to pick up and keep on a vase. If you did, it start to stink.
What kinda flower was that?
Capativating others showing off it’s best,
Protecting their ownself showing off it’s worst.
When I walk through the fields, red backpack slung across my shoulders, grass and wheat skimming my knees,
I often go past
and wild orchids.
I like the wild orchids best because they’re beautiful and they smell nice and they remind me of the first time
I saw an orchid.
when I still live in a city and, starved of nature, I dreamt
Of my room filled with them.
Like living in a garden.
There was a summer when I was visiting a friend at Yale. This was a good summer, an innocent summer. The flowers littered the lawns of the houses surrounding the campus, blink and it’s just a white bush, a white picket fence addition. Perhaps they couldn’t hold a candle to the magnificent stone buildings on campus.
But they’re just so luscious. My photographs show the sunlight illuminating them as if from the inside.
They smell like nothing in particular, I’ll admit. They almost can’t compete with the pink and blue bushes of the same type, but they have a virginal quality. Colorless, untainted. There’s an innocence.
My friend would look at the white bushes and say: so pure.
And they were.