Now that gardening season has returned in full force, it’s 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 I’ve made a list of my favorites, and why I adore them.
- Peonies: Don’t 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 earth—perhaps a little mildewy—and hide again until the next spring. I could just stick my face in them forever.
- Roses: Root-grown, old-fashioned, fragrant—that’s how I love them! I adore them so much that I can’t bear to pick them. I like pink, peach, white, magenta—I think next year I might try striped. I don’t know why people fear them so much—but then, they are probably not buying the root-grown kind.
- 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.
- Hydrangeas: Well, they don’t smell much, but they sure do look good! I’ll take them all. One of each! They remind me of the hats women used to wear to church when I was growing up, but I’ll forgive them for that!
- 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.
- Oriental lilies: Again, fragrance rules here. A hot summer night, their waxy blossoms perfuming the night air like some exotic dream…. Yes, that’s a dream I like.
- Nicotiana: The only annual to make my list, and again it’s for the fragrance. I mean, who cares what a flower looks like as long as it smells great? That’s 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. I’ll keep her, and invite her back again next year.
- Snowdrops: First sign of spring, harbinger of warmth and all good things to come, I love it when they grow wild and crazy.
- Lavender: Such a useful, all-around wonderful and amazing plant—and it smells good, too.
- 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!
- Sunflowers! OK, this one is not mine, it’s Lucia’s! All kids love sunflowers, and should grow them just because they are amazing.
What’s your favorite flower, and why do you love it?