noun: the seed-bearing part of a plant, consisting of reproductive organs (stamens and carpels) that are typically surrounded by a brightly colored corolla (petals) and a green calyx (sepals)
verb: be in or reach an optimum stage of development; develop fully and richly
I live in the desert. This year the winter has been extremely mild here. So, I have spent the last few months gardening. I know, I know, it is odd to garden in the winter. It is not natural. It is topsy turvy and opposite the norm. And I am most grateful for the opportunity afforded me! Because when spring temperatures reach into the nineties, everything will begin to wilt. Then the harsh summer of temperatures well into the hundreds degree mark will kill most of what is left. The plants that make it, like the lavender that comes back year after year, are dear to my heart.
The backyard is looking the best it has ever looked in the twenty years we have lived here. The bougainvillea are topiaried and blossoming on the high white stuccoed fence, the layered manicured bushes shade the colorful impatients that are thriving beneath. There are shasta daisies planted, and ivy starting to take off. The nasturtiums are blooming as are the stock and alyssum which makes for wonderful smells with the slightest of breezes. The kale is just pushing through the dirt, the spinach is growing and the tomato plants are beginning to have small green baby tomatoes visible. And don’t even get me started on my lemon tree! It is covered in the best lemons you have ever seen, smelled or tasted.
Working in my garden grounds me, pun included. My dog and I planting seeds or weeding or watering gives me a peace I don’t find anywhere else. There are rules in a garden and for the most part it is a fair playing field. You plant the seed, you water it, it grows. When a plant is aging or feels threatened it sends out a flower. It is a last ditch effort to show the world its beauty and as the flower is the “reproductive organs” and “seed bearing part of a plant” it is also self preserving its species by its faith in beginning anew.
It is no coincidence then that the verb version of the word Flower is to “develop fully and richly”. That’s me! The second one. NOT a last ditch effort to send out my seeds but “to reach an optimum stage of development”. So if you can’t find me, chances are I’m out back in the garden with my dog Max developing “fully and richly”. I am probably drinking a glass of wine and planning out where I can squeeze in some more ornamental poppies or smelling the stock or just enjoying the fruits of my labor and I kind of like that about myself.
“I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.”