Saturday, August 9, 2008

Confirmed Bachelor (button)

I remember the bachelor button growing in one of our flower gardens even as a child. They are easy to grow and easy to dry. When the weather doesn't cooperate, the bachelor button doesn't much care. The two examples I've pictured below are growing in our front flower bed and offer a light color palette to the show.

The bachelor button (Centaurea cyanus) carries the nickname "cornflower" and grows wild in European grain fields. Is it then a weed? Imagine these plants, a foot or two tall, waving in the breeze! What few plants we have take my breath away with their beauty. From a distance where one might commonly admire a flower garden, the plant is actually pretty plain. But get in close, as I've done with these pictures, and you begin to see the exquisite detail of the flower.
I am not mistaken, I think, to call the chicory flower a blue unto itself. This bachelor button is darker and more detailed. And yet it is another sky blue and makes this mid-August day special.

Now, behind the garage, another rose has burst into flower. I "dead-headed" them earlier in the week, cut them back to nothing more than branches, and already they have put forth bloom. Where did these flowers come from so quickly?

There is something especially sensual about this pink rose. Look at how the petals unfold, wrapped together in one tight bloom. They are prettiest before their full bloom has been shown. Watch them unwind by the hour until, at last, the bloom is fully open. And as quickly it is stale and gone.

There will always be the next bloom so there is no sadness in a summer's garden. With the first frost at least a month and a half away, the roses know no fear at the moment. It is all sun and heat and warm breeze and regular rains as the flowers reach their full potential in August.