Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The moment we've all been waiting for

Any day now, this peony is going to bloom! My neighbours' plants (which seem to have about a million buds on them every spring compared to the two on mine) have already opened up, so I've sort of been getting my peony fix. But I'll be so happy to see these.

This year the sole surviving poppy of my attempt to plant a few of those three years ago also bloomed for the first time. As illustrated on the plant card, its petals were milky white with a dark purple centre, almost black in its depth - perfect for my garden, but very different from the poppies that made me want to have one of my own.

Those were growing in the large triangular bed of a house on a corner a few blocks away. This bed was fenced off in rustic fashion and the entire space inside was filled with orange-red poppies. When the pods developed, they looked like magical eggs, soft green and full of promise, and when the flowers opened and shifted in the breeze, you couldn't help but feel happy.

On its own, my poppy was beautiful for about two days after maybe a week of a creepy looking pod that got furrier and furrier every day, and then last night - poof. Petals down. Nothing but the creepy looking purple center. That's why there's no picture of it, by the way; next year I'll be smart and take some moments after it opens up.

These late spring flowers always make me think how different a thing can look on its own than similar things in a large group, and also how fleeting their impression. It's been put more eloquently I know, but you really do have to enjoy them while they are around. Just like people and happy times in your life.

Just imagine though... what is it like for the plants? Working hard to produce even one bloom that lasts maybe just a few days, and making it special enough to attract whatever it is it needs to get to sustain it for another whole year. Not just to sustain it, either, but to help it spread and support new growth. I find that amazing.

Even more amazing: some people have to live that way, too.

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