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April 22, 2010 / alunatunes

April 22, 2010-The Backyard Botanist


I have become, over the past three years, a kind of suburban botanist. When we purchased this house in August 2007, its one-third acre offered a plethora of growing things. Hosta was everywhere. Monkey grass is rampant Vinca and english ivy trail, even where we don’t want it, creating an english cottage feel around the garage. Daffodils mound around crepe myrtles. In late summer canna lillies bloom in the back garden. I just spied wysteria crawling over the side fence in bloom. My yard is magical.

For 40 years this was the home of a master gardener who, in later years, retired and made his home and garden, especially the garden, his canvas for creativity. And he painted a masterpiece with bulbs and plants galore. For ten years the home belonged to a couple with children. The property fell into the type of neglect that happens when the cultivation of family outweighs the cultivation of  flowers.

My spring  joy is walking outside in the morning to see what’s in bloom. Today my giant tree like rose-bush is blossoming and I plucked agapanthus from the garden. “Queen of the Nile” is how the variety is best known and through study I discovered I have several varieties of this beauty, as if they were planted just for a girl who loves the mystical. “Tinkerbell” is light blue with variegated foliage.  “Peter Pan” is blue with stems up to 18 inches long.

Today is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. I remember the first Earth Day. I was 12 and in middle school. For Earth Day the entire school got to walk outside. What a celebration.

The botanical name for Agapanthus is “flower of love” .  In each flower, each blooming thing is the seed of possibilities. Today as you navigate life, remember seeds of possibility lie in every interaction, every moment, every handshake, smile and exchange of energy. Love each other. Love yourself.

Love the EARTH.

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