Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Flowers, Continued

I didn't realize I had so much to say about flowers until I started replying to Mereknits comment, which got me thinking about so many other flowers. Azaleas and gladiolas are the flowers of my childhood. In this area where I grew up and now live again, there are primarily two types of azaleas, the small bloom ones and the old-fashioned large blooms which are my favorite. The house where I grew up had many large bloom azalea bushes, mostly in a light purple color and those are still my favorites, although I don't know if you can even get them anymore.

Camillas and dogwoods are also very prevalent around here. Although I love pink dogwoods, the white ones remind me of the first house I owned and where I had both of my daughters. We took the "just home from the hospital" photos of both the girls under that beautiful tree. I wish I still had those photos. We also had a gardenia bush at that house, but we dug it up and gave it away when I found out that its fragrance gave me sick headaches. So, even though they are beautiful, I will never have one.

Gladiolas remind me of my Aunt Rose, as she always had an abundance of them that she would cut and arrange into glorious bunches. Peonys are my mother's flower; she loves them but they must not grow as well here as they do in Pennsylvania, which is where she grew up. Still, I keep buying them for her and she keeps trying, so one day maybe.

Honeysuckle and wisteria are also favorites of mine, as they grow so well in the wild. I've always wanted both but they are so invasive, I'm not sure Steve would go for them.

And now Steve is filling our yard with wonderful rugosa roses, which grow very well in the sandy soil we have. I love the idea that in just a few years, we will have a yard overflowing with beach roses, making our place "Rose's Beach Cottage" in both meanings of the word.


  1. I enjoyed reading about the flowers that have been special in your life. I wonder if everyone experiences flowers like that? I know I do. Any laburnum tree takes me back to the house where I lived when my kids were born and where we lived for over 20 years. I snatched a seedling when we moved and I have the tree with me still.

  2. We have many 'wild' dogwoods on our property and i love to see the beautiful blooms peeking out behind all the maples and oak saplings. we have many azalea's too but with five acres the whole garden thing becomes somewhat overwhelming! oh, i love the idea of Rose's Beach Cottage - go steve!

    Thanks so much for checking in with me. We lost power and were not quite sure of the extent of the damage until 8am on sunday when we had to drive through all the wreckage on our way to Hebrew school in williamsburg.