I was baffled. Actually, clueless would have been a more appropriate word to use. But, since I couldn’t find a flower that begins with the letter u, baffled was the next best word for my acrostic. Whose idea was it to begin eucalyptus with an e? I guess I’m getting slightly off topic, so back to my point.
I hate to admit it but, up until pretty recently, I was utterly clueless (and completely baffled) about flowers. I spent my childhood surrounded by saguaros, ocotillo, prickly pear, and cholla. Incredibly awesome and yet very different than the flowers I find myself living among nowadays. Cactus identification comes easy to me. Flower identification does not.
During the spring, several years ago, I moved from Southern Arizona clear across the country to NE North Carolina. Vegetation on this side of the world is completely different than plant life in Arizona, especially the flowers. As the spring season progressed, and more flowers began to bloom, I began to discover just how different things really were. The first thing I noticed were the huge flowers beginning to grow on the big bush beside my deck. The flowers slowly turned from varying shades of green to stunning shades of periwinkle blue and fuchsia. I clipped a few from the bush and arranged them in a vase on my kitchen table, enjoying their beauty while sipping my morning cup of coffee.
A friend came over and commented, “Your hydrangeas look incredible!”
Hydrangeas? So that’s what they are! They were some of the most beautiful flowers I had ever seen.
I am no longer baffled by the hydrangea.
I decided to plant something in the boxes beneath my front windows. I went to the local nursery and found a tray of attractive potted flowers in different shades of pink and red. The plastic tag sticking out of the soil read "Impatiens". I felt an instant connection to this flower.
I can totally relate! Patience was a virtue I struggled with nearly everyday. I admired the transparency and the honesty. I felt certain I could grow to love any flower that wore its heart on its…leaves?
I brought my impatiens home and planted them. Alternating between the two colors I had chosen. As I had suspected, it didn’t take long for the colorful assortment of impatiens along with their leaves to grow fuller. Within a very short time, my flowers and their lush leaves had grown so much that they completely covered the window boxes in which they now resided. Impatiens appeared to be adjusting quickly and effortlessly to their new home.
I am no longer baffled by the impatiens.
I was out for a walk one day when the pink shrubs in my neighbor’s yard caught my eye, a sea of pink petals, too numerous to count. The afternoon sun shined down, as if to spotlight their beauty. I had seen these types of flowers on many occasions, but had never given them a second glance before.
What an extraordinary shade of pink, one petal, standing alone, so subtle and unassuming- yet as a whole, strikingly vibrant and breathtaking!
Pink and white azaleas now line the sidewalk leading to my front door. After a brief struggle to adjust to their new home, they now show signs of contentment.
I am no longer baffled by the azalea.
I’ve learned a lot from the new flowers in my life.
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