Now that gardening season has returned in full force, itís time to revel in the glorious abundant beauty of nature (unless, that is, she is thrashing us with her rages). One of my favorite things about the spring-and-summer season is flowers.† So Iíve made a list of my favorites, and why I adore them.
1. Peonies: Donít tell the roses, but I think peonies are my favorite. They have all the luscious glory and fragrance of roses, without the thorns or the persnickety-ness. They rise up like little flames from the spring soil, burst like fireworks (covered in ants), and then gently fall back to the earthóperhaps a little mildewyóand hide again until the next spring. I could just stick my face in them forever.
2. Roses: Root-grown, old-fashioned, fragrantóthatís how I love them! I adore them so much that I canít bear to pick them. I like pink, peach, white, magentaóI think next year I might try striped. I donít know why people fear them so muchóbut then, they are probably not buying the root-grown kind.
3. Hyacinths: I buy them in the supermarket in the late winter, then plant the withered bulbs in my garden in the spring, and the following year have patches of deliriously fragrant blooms. Few things in life are so easy and so satisfying.
4. Hydrangeas: Well, they donít smell much, but they sure do look good! Iíll take them all. One of each! They remind me of the hats women used to wear to church when I was growing up, but Iíll forgive them for that!
5. Poppies: Simply fascinating to look at up close! Like a combination of a tarantula spider and some alien sexual organ. I finally found a deep red variety, and it is awesome.
6. Oriental lilies: Again, fragrance rules here. A hot summer night, their waxy blossoms perfuming the night air like some exotic dreamÖ. Yes, thatís a dream I like.
7. Nicotiana: The only annual to make my list, and again itís for the fragrance. I mean, who cares what a flower looks like as long as it smells great? Thatís my philosophy. But still, she is pretty and long lasting, and does her job filling in the spaces where the perennials have yet to tread. Iíll keep her, and invite her back again next year.
8. Snowdrops: First sign of spring, harbinger of warmth and all good things to come, I love it when they grow wild and crazy.
9. Lavender: Such a useful, all-around wonderful and amazing plantóand it smells good, too.
10. Violets: I adore them because they are wild and seem magical. According to my Native American plant guide, they are a symbol of the need to simplify. That is a message I really need to hear!
11. Sunflowers! OK, this one is not mine, itís Luciaís! All kids love sunflowers, and should grow them just because they are amazing.
Whatís your favorite flower, and why do you love it?