The season is underway and those flowers that survived last winter's brutal cold seem to be celebrating. In recent days, as I walked in the neighbor's lane, I noticed her iris's were in full bloom. I walked the extra distance just so I could admire them.
It was early morning - perhaps not much later than 7:30 am - and the dew still clung to the petals. And what a heavenly subtle scent does the iris exude. The scent takes me back to my childhood when I would walk across the street with my grandfather, holding his four-fingered hand, to my aunt's house on Memorial Day. She'd have buckets of flowers cut, standing in cold clear water, ready to take to Hill-Grove Cemetery.
My aunt, even in her 90's, loved flowers. Her showiest were on the south side of her garage. I loved a purple lilac that bloomed there, flooding her yard with that deep smell of luxury. Once, when I was sick with the flu, she sent me a bouquet which Mom placed on my dresser. I think that bouquet helped with my recovery. It certainly demonstrated the healing power of flowers. I have been hooked ever since.
Millie's iris's are exquisite and I could stand and admire them all day. When we first moved to Pinehaven, we had this same flower at the eastern edge of our driveway, right in front of the house. Mom hated them. "Too showy," she said. And so, slowly, we dug them up and planted grass.
In fact we no longer have any flowers in our front yard. It is just green grass, trees, brick house.
On the north of the house is an entire flower bed of ferns, a plant that appreciates the cool shade. On the north of the garage are hosta, an entire row of green leaves all summer, delicate purple flowers in the fall. The idea is understatement. At the rear of our garage, we have our regular flower bed ... roses, statice, baby's breath, poppy, yarrow. Around the corner, Russian sage.
Mom never likes a showy display. Thus the iris's are gone and all of our flowers are neatly trimmed and generally of small, delicate stature.
So yesterday, when we were at the hospital for lunch, I stopped to admire a hibiscus. Mom pulled back. "Oh, that thing's too showy," she argued. I, of course, loved it.
Showy, indeed! Any flower that can blend shades from red to pink to orange to yellow on a single petal gets my vote. This flower screams "Look at me!". Mom turns away. But like the Pied Piper, I follow. Does this appreciation for beauty lead me to eventual destruction? Then I still go willingly.
I suppose we will never grow one of these. We will favor shades of green for most spots. But I won't look away when one of these call my name.