My mother loved flowers. She planted them, weeded around them, nurtured and watered and pruned them, and cut the blossoms to arrange. Every Christmas time, bowls floated camellias, and every spring rows of jonquils (she never referred to these as daffodils) waved in the front yard.
Her mother too had loved flowers, tending serried rows of blooms in the down-sloping back yard, the entire property lush with boxwood (never boxwoods, mind you, as this was Virginia and my grandmother was a formidable woman).
My deceased sister-in-law loved flowers too. She tailored her yards, in increasing sophistication at home (even installing a small greenhouse in her last one); in the county, she respected edibles like blueberries (hers were always lush and fresh and tasty) and tomatoes and snap peas (which I ate with great pleasure right from the vine) and heaped flowers in large barrels and baskets along the porch.
My niece, her daughter, also loves flowers, first helping to grow them and sell them in California, then as farm manager of an herb farm (where acres of coneflowers led down to river framed by mountains), then as an organic garden planner/installer, and now as a florist of such skill that I am astonished every time I see pictures of her work.
I do not grow flowers, but I love them too, for their colors and shapes and scents and attractiveness to bugs of all kinds. I had forgotten how much I love them until, with a new camera, I started snapping them again. And now I cannot imagine how I got sidetracked from them in the first place.
by Wendy Videlock
for my mother
They are fleeting.
They are fragile.
They'll surprise you.
They'll remind you
that they aren't
and they are you.