“How long does it flower?” I hear this question over and over, especially in the springtime when many plants are in glorious bloom. “A few weeks,” I reply, and the customers lose interest immediately. “Is that all?” they say.
“But look at the foliage,” I tell them, rushing to the plant’s defense. I point to a peony’s lovely-shaped leaves. “This plants stays lush and green until mid-fall.”
“Then it goes into dormancy.”
“No, it turns brown, but it comes back very early each spring.”
The customers shake their heads. “Oh no. I need something that stays green all year.”
“Well, you could plant azaleas or rhododendrons, or camellias.”
“Do they flower?”
Basically, people are looking for eternal youth: a plant that stays beautiful forever. Mother Nature knocks herself out to give us breathtaking blooms, and we are not happy. Will we ever be? Will we ever look at the world, at ourselves, and see the hidden value?
Even more miraculous is a plant’s ability to come back from dormancy, to flower year after year. This is what our green world offers us: a fresh chance each spring to put things in perspective and be thankful for what is. What a gift.
6 thoughts on ““How Long Does It Flower?””
Beautifully written, and I love the picture.
Thank you, Jinxie. That photo was taken in our backyard this spring. It’s one of my favorites.
Oh, so true. I love how my garden has changed the way I see the world. When we first started planting, I was like your customers – searching for all the prettiest flowers. Now I wish I had focused more on leaf color, texture, etc. That’s what creates the backdrop or backbone for all those fleeting blooms.
Then there is how the garden changes with seasons. It’s because of those cold winter days with dormant plants, that I appreciate spring and summer. This time of year I check my plants on a daily basis, looking for some sign of life. I love watching the shoots emerge, plants seeming to materialize overnight to start their show all over again. Mother nature really is amazing.
Yes she is. Thanks very much for your wise words.
That is well written and spot on. Thank you. It is the ever changing garden and fleeting nature of the blooms which I find interesting.
Thanks, Jim. I feel the same way: the ephemeral quality of nature’s gifts make them all the precious.