A to Z Blogging Challenge · flowers · Life · people

Ranunculus

Helen’s bridal bouquet

Helen’s bouquet was lovely, wasn’t it? I don’t know the names of all the flowers in it — roses (obviously), lily-of-the-valley (a nod to my mother — that was what she carried in her bridal bouquet), and ranunculus (that peachy-colored one that is dead center). I feel like I should know the names of the purple ones and the white ones but I don’t. (Anyone?)

Ranunculus is one of my favorite flowers. I first remember buying a few stems at the Farmers’ Market for my ikebana pot and delighting as they opened from small round balls to those amazing delicate layers-upon-layers of petals.

In the ikebana vase
Another ikebana arrangement

I bought fresh stems on every visit to the Farmers’ Market in my year of ranunculus-discovery. Until they ran out.

“Not even one last bud?” I asked, trying not sound whiny.

“No. Their season is past,” replied the woman at the stand, and I went away sad.

The next year I purchased them early and often.

Ranunculus. What an ugly name for such a lovely flower. It sounds clunky and awkward, not delicate and beautiful. The name derives from Latin for “little frog.” I don’t see the similarity.

A little frog that I photographed on a walk.

I do not like rude people.

flowers · photography

Flower Power

When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment.

Georgia O’Keefe

The summer of 2014 was the Summer of Flowers.

Owen and Emily were getting married in September and I filled my garden in Greene with flowers that we might be able to use for the wedding.

Emily is incredibly organized. She planned everything so well. She probably didn’t need me to grow flowers, but it was a gift to me — to choose flower plants, and watch them grow and bloom.

These are all flowers grown in my garden in Greene for Day #6 of a nature photography challenge.

Faith · family · flowers

Christmas Flowers

img_1016On Sunday the pastor announced that anyone who wanted Poinsettia or cyclamen was welcome to take plants home. The front altar had been filled with plants for the holiday season — so, so lovely.

The cyclamen on the piano had caught my eye. It was looking droopy and sad, kind of worn out. I understood how it felt.

We are invariably among the last to leave. Bud loves to visit with people and I try to wait patiently (albeit awkwardly). I watched plants leave the sanctuary, one by one, but so many still waited to be adopted. The cyclamen on the piano drooped even more. I  grabbed it and a poinsettia to take home before we left.

For my mother — you know? She loved plants. When she was alive, she always had Poinsettia at Christmas. Her Christmas cactus burst into bloom on cue with the season, as did her Crown of Thorns at Easter. It was magical.

Here is part of  a post I wrote nearly 5 years ago:

At the tower of Babel, God scattered the languages of the world, “so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” (Genesis 11:7)  But He left us some universal languages.

Music crosses cultures and generations.

Art speaks and moves me, though I may know not a word in the native tongue of the painter.

And flowers — God Himself uses this language to speak to us through their beauty.

Flowers may have been the language my mother understood best.  She worked tirelessly in her garden, weeding, tending, making it beautiful for all to enjoy.  Inside the house there was always something blooming — Poinsettia, Christmas cactus, Amaryllis, the crown of thorns, Easter lilies, mums.  She understood the language of the flowers and plants, and they understood her and responded.

As my mother descended into dementia, the plants in the house looked more and more sickly. Nearly all the plants eventually died. Her huge Christmas cactus and Crown of Thorns are gone.

As I left the sanctuary on Sunday holding my sad cyclamen, Bud noticed a healthy one in the vestibule. “Do you want this plant instead?” he asked.

“No,” I told him. “I want to try to revive this one.”

It’s amazing what a little water and sunshine will do.

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I used to tell myself that I had a black thumb and that I could never grow plants the way my mother did, but I understand better now. It’s not the color of my thumb, it’s the care and attention.

It holds true with plants.

It holds true with people.