A Box or Two of Hope…and Dirt

I bought flowers!  A couple flippin’ boxes of them, plus a miniature rose.   (The latter required a trip to Walmart, as they are the only place in town that provides them–quite the hot ticket for Mothers Day–and I was reminded once again that there is no such thing as an express line in Walmart.  It took as long to go through the checkout with a potted rose and a bag of grass seed as the rest of my entire plant-buying extravaganza.) The flowers look just fabulous in the box on my back step, so I’m tempted to leave them as is.  That would be bad for their health, though, and I’m sure they’d be withering in a couple weeks, so I’ll pot them in some compost and peat moss, where they will thrive (and where the sweet potato vines will do their thing and create their strange pot taters).

ooh, ahh…

I followed my usual approach to buying flowers and let the Flower-Buying Spirit move me.  I shopped without a list, flew recon through the greenhouse to survey the year’s offerings, and then repeated my course with a couple boxes and an open mind.  This year, I stuck with deep, bright solids (and deep blue lobelia to set them off), plus a couple grasses.  I’ve grown to appreciate grasses.  They rustle in the wind, are golden in the fall, and cast wonderful, arching purple shadows over snow.  Another priority was smell.  This point was driven home when the family took a trip to southern California in March a few years ago—leaving the True Land of Cheese for the Faux Land of Cheese.  In March, though, the San Diego area had it all over us for sweet smells.  Piles of gray slush do NOT have an appealing smell.  Alyssum, geraniums, and lavender in a sea breeze have a LOT of appeal.  These flowers send my nose on vacation every year.  Lavender is alive and well in my garden, and the alyssum and geranium are in the box.  A trip back to the greenhouse for flowering tobacco may be in order (I’ve always wondered if tobacco flowers give the bees a little extra buzz…).   Anticipating an extra-hot year (I am finishing my garden tasks several weeks early this year, which is a major clue for what is to come), I threw in a couple packs of gazanias to go along with the zinnias and marigolds I started at the side of the veg garden.  All in all, the tried-and-true process of flying by seat of one’s pants, checkbook in hand, left me with a pretty pleasing bunch of flowers.

By the way, a spiritual approach applies to displaying flowers, too.  I usually cut the beauties and put them into a vase, with little thought to the art of flower arrangement and their representation of Heaven, Earth, and its creatures or whatever things that savvier flower artists consider.  There you go!  They are FLOWERS, and they are beautiful because they are flowers!  In light of my previous several months of brain drain (classes, work, nonstop whining), the chaos of nature is looking all the more lovely every day.  Maybe I did gain something from my college education after all!

I’m off to unload the last of my mulch, too.  The one benefit to living in a paper-mill town is the availability of high-quality pine bark mulch—as much as you can load, really!  My brother once remarked that this must be the best-mulched town in America, and I bet he’s right.  This offsets the other paper-mill benefit of playing the popular local game of “What is That SMELL?!!  Are there pumpkins rotting somewhere?  Have all the dairy cows died on the hoof?  Did a truck full of green bacon crash on the highway and spill its load?”  The pine mulch smells like summer.  It’s a good Mothers Day!


~ by rebuildingholly on May 13, 2012.

4 Responses to “A Box or Two of Hope…and Dirt”

  1. Oh beautiful.. Flowers in the yard ( or on a step/patio) just seem to make any bad day seem bright..
    Loverly indeed!!

  2. The flowers are slowly moving into their proper places in the ground and in pots, on a perfect blue-sky day. It is good for my soul! My rain barrels are begging for water, though.

  3. I actually grew up in a pulp mill town–Everett, Washington, and you’re dead on about the smell.
    Your flowers are truly lovely.

    • What’s strange is that you can identify the actual mills by their unique smells. What’s bad is the additional stink of the mill “settling ponds.” It makes dairy-air smell fine!

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