A Dance of Flowers

The flowers we started from seeds last fall have slowly,  slowly begun to bloom.  Clothilde helped me, with that rambunctious activity that the age of five years old inspires,  sow the seeds on the raised beds prepared with compost and soil. In the end I had no idea what got planted where,  and by now I have  forgotten completely what kinds of flowers we had ended up choosing.  To see the new and unfamiliar flowers growing and unfolding themselves has been like enjoying a beautiful surprise planned by someone else.

 The Linaria,  or Fairy Lights, were the first to delight us with delicate spring colors,  each fair new flower stalk seeming to have a different and lovely color combination.

The pansies were next,  their dark, velvety flowers springing up beautifully between the purple dusty leaves of the apple blossom snapdragons (unless they are the tequilla sunrise snapdragons.  The flowers haven’t opened yet).  

Now and then a completely new colour will open,  tinged with white or splashed with yellow, that will make us stop and admire.  We decorated Ethan’s birthday cake with them yesterday, and they made the most beautiful edible decorations. 

The milk thistle, wild plant that it is,  all covered with fierce prickles,  refuses to reside in a flower bed,  and instead grew in the path where the seeds had spilled, its trout-speckled leaves overtaking the ferny Shungiku.  It looks impressive right now, crowned with thorny blossoms. 

And the poppies. I’ve never grown poppies.  They look too pretty and Victorian to grow well in Florida, so I was pleased to see them grow happily,  looking like ugly lettuce,  for many months. We planted two kinds of them, and we have been longing for months to see what got planted where in the end. 

Very,  very slowly they sat up and their stems grew long.  Then weeks ago the first prickly pods appeared,  modestly curled and tucked in between leaves. We watched as every day the buds unfurled,  in slow and graceful ballet movements,  like a dance that happened over days and days inside of memory.  There was so much anticipation to see what would at last appear,  and this morning we woke up to a beautiful surprise. 

They opened all at once! 

8 Comments Add yours

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Oh, that milk thistle looks unpleasant. Will you let it bloom? I do not think of it as a desirable species. I am more concerned with getting rid of it than appreciating the foliage or flower.

    Like

    1. I think it’s a terrible weed out west, but i am growing it to harvest the seeds for medicine. It doesn’t like Florida enough to be a pest, we actually have to plant it! Dandelions are like that here too. Everyone hates them up north, and here i have to coddle them in my garden.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. tonytomeo says:

        How funny. I remember that people use the seeds. Dandelion is mostly a weed here. Only a few grow it as a vegetable. In Oregon and Washington, and somewhat here as well, raspberries and blackberries are scorned!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. tonytomeo says:

        Not for those of us who want to grow raspberries and blackberries. Dandelions are funny though. I just noticed them in one of the big lawns today! I so dislike them as a week, but like them in my friends vegetable garden.

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      3. True! More for those who can appreciate! Some of those edible weeds are like that. Bidens or Spanish Needle is like that here. It’s very edible and has lovely flowers but it is such a pest where i want to plant my tomatoes!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. tonytomeo says:

        Coincidentally, I had to pull dandelions today!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I also have a European stinging nettle that grew itself in the garden, which i was thrilled about because i love nettle soup (https://toadstoolsfairyrings.wordpress.com/2016/05/23/potage-aux-orties-nettle-soup/)

    I actually water it and fertilize it and was devastated one year when the goats almost ate it to death!

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