The summer solstice (June 21) has just passed and I thought it fitting to mark the turning of the seasons. Summer is my favourite season of the year, a joyful time of long days spent outdoors soaking up vitamin D and enjoying the bounty of crops as they come into fruition. However, having just visited the desert, I now understand firsthand how for some of you, summer is a difficult if not brutal season that is spent indoors. For that reason I’ve tried to keep this one open-ended so that you can approach it however you choose.
Grow Write Guild Prompt #7: Write about one plant that is currently in bloom.
Further Notes & Questions:
- Go outside and look at your garden right now. What is in bloom? Choose one plant and write about it.
- You don’t have to choose a bloom that you like. For something different, try writing about a flower that you don’t like.
- Don’t feel compelled to teach us anything if you don’t want to. Simply write about your experiences with that plant.
- From where did you get the plant?
- How does the colour of the flower make you feel?
- Take a photograph or draw a picture to accompany your post.
T-minus just a few days before we leave on our 10 day desert trip and the madness is in full swing around here. I am never again going away on such a long trip at the height of planting season. Lesson learned. Still, I figure I will stop fussing and fretting about my own garden once I am out there in that giant desert garden with so many amazing plants and landscapes surrounding me.
While I have a heightened interest in desert plants in general and probably know more than the average person visiting the American Southwest for the first time, I also know from other trips that stepping into that landscape is going to feel a bit like walking on the moon with alien lifeforms aplenty.
About a month ago I started to prepare by purchasing books related to the plant life of the Southwest. I tried to get a good general plant identification book, but alas the one I wanted, A Field Guide to the Plants of Arizona by Anne Orth Epple, was not available. I am hoping to pick up a copy somewhere on the trip. Perhaps the gift shop at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix will have a copy in stock. We specifically decided to make this public garden our first stop of the trip so that we’d have a chance to see Sonoran desert plants in an educational context. After all, I don’t expect to see conveniently located name tags once we’re out in the middle of nowhere!
I’m thinking about landscapes this week as I prepare to go on a roadtrip through two — possibly three (we’ll see how far we get) North American deserts. I’ve always been drawn to the desert. When I think of this landscape I think of big skies, stars that touch the ground, magic, and grit. Perhaps it has something to do with how vastly different it is from the landscape around my home. The grass is always greener, or errr… dryer. It’s so contrary to our wetlands and forests that I can’t help but approach it with a strong feeling of respect, awe, and intense curiosity.
Speaking of which… there is also something to be said about the landscapes of our memory. For example, I spent the bulk of my childhood living next to a fallow brownfield located behind a derelict suburban shopping plaza. As a result, I have an enduring soft spot for fallow fields and overgrown parking lots where nature is in a wild clash with human “progress.” Even now I can see where aspects of this wildness has crept into the way I approach my own gardens and the plants weeds) that volunteer themselves each year.
Tomorrow marks exactly one year since I started the Herbaria. I knew the anniversary was approaching, but did not realize the date until I set up to take this week’s photo. There it is: one year complete. I wish this were coming at a batter time. Instead of feeling accomplished, I’m feeling frustrated, uncertain, and a bit sorry for myself.
Still, to commemorate the occasion, I decided to make this collection a theme that coincides perfectly with the current phase in my garden: the finished blooms of spring ephemerals.