Bouquet

I’ve gotten lots of smiles with the bouquets I’ve cut from my garden and shared with friends in town. I thought I’d take the camera outside this evening and pick a few flowers to share with you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do:

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Sunflower (var. “Music Box”)

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Sunflower (var. “Velvet Queen”)

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Zinnias (var. unknown; these are descendants of the wildflower mix we tossed over the back fence last year)

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Daylily (var. “Route 66”)

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Forget-me-not (var. “Firmament”)

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Not a flower, but I’m pretty excited about our blackberries. Ron planted them last year, and they’re producing nicely this year. They keep clawing me when I harvest the cucumbers, which just climb up the blackberry brambles that grow through the back fence … but the fruit is so good, it’s well worth a few scratches.

My friend Vicki and I were laughing the other day at the contrast between our lawns, because they really reflect our personalities.

She and her husband keep all their plants organized: geraniums and marigolds and zinnias and some pretty little blue thing, the name of which escapes me, are neatly arranged in enormous pots on the patio, while lush green hostas politely confine themselves to a carefully mulched circle under the oak tree, stunning vareigated caladiums nod quietly in perfectly manicured beds, and vivid coleus leaves, splashed and speckled with rich greens and reds and pinks, brighten window boxes.

Their plants are neat and pretty and meticulously groomed … just what you’d expect from Vicki, who is the sort of girl who is always careful to make sure her shoes match her top.

I’ve got potted plants on my patio, too, but most of them are tucked into macrame hangers on the pergola. A cardinal climber is crawling out of a huge pot at the corner of the patio, spilling over the sides and wrapping itself around a support post. Screaming yellow and deep reddish-brown sunflowers sway in the breeze, barely contained behind an old-fashioned wire fence, and out in the vegetable garden, a volunteer cucumber vine has outgrown its trellis and started making a grab for the tomatoes. The tomatoes themselves have outgrown their stakes and are spreading like kudzu into the zucchini bed. The pole beans have breached security and invaded the rose bed, and the blackberry brambles are sneaking into the garden through the back fence, where they are grappling with another cucumber vine. Behind the fence, wild morning glory, lamb’s quarters, and honeysuckle wage a valiant but futile struggle against the zinnias, and the flower bed next to the tomatoes is a disorderly profusion of random vegetation: a healthy collection of weeds I haven’t had time to pull, intermingled with a small but busy Indian blanket, tentative baby’s breath, tousled forget-me-nots, dormant angel daisies, and an enthusiastic nicotiana that’s very nearly as tall as I am.

The whole mess is wild and unruly … just the sort of thing you’d expect from me, the fidgety hippie who bought white lace platform heels to match my wedding dress but wound up barefoot by the time the ceremony was over because the shoes looked much better than they felt.

Looking at a bouquet of zinnias from my garden the other day, Vicki’s husband made the observation that nature has a way of taking colors that don’t seem to match at all and making them work together. I think personalities are like that: God takes people whose experiences, ages, backgrounds, political views, and communication styles don’t seem to go together at all, puts them side by side, and makes them great friends. Even though they don’t match at all, they go together beautifully, like bright annuals growing wild behind a garden fence.

How does your garden grow this evening?

Emily