Tag Archives: flowers

Flower Power in the City

1 Apr

Springtime in Texas is short, which makes it all the more precious. My flower gardens come alive like no other time of the year and remind me why I love growing flowers.

Two summers ago we dug up our entire front and back yards. We re-leveled the ground, added subsurface drip line irrigation, new grass, and planted some flowerbeds. Last summer we started a vegetable garden.

We did everything ourselves. Growing flowers became my personal project, and I added plants that are perennial and hardy enough to survive our harsh summers.

The flowers have become a continual work in progress. Two winters ago we had two significant snowfalls and a week of extremely cold temperatures, and some of the flowers didn’t survive. Last summer we had the longest, hottest summer on record, and this spring I’m seeing exactly how many plants we lost. Quite a few plants are not resprouting.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since it means I get to plant something new.

When my children were younger, we used to spend every summer in South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. The kids used to tease me and roll their eyes every time I’d stop on a hike to take another wildflower photo. Now my grown daughter admits she does the same thing.

Though I love growing my own food and bringing things to life from seed, I think I love the flowers most of all. Each of our two lavender bushes attracts hundreds of bees, and beautiful butterflies flutter through all summer long. It’s a truly magical day when we unexpectedly spot a hummingbird from the front porch, feeding from one of the flowers. They come and go so quickly.

If you had told me a few years ago that I would love gardening so much, I would have laughed and shook my head. Too hot, too much work, too back breaking.

I have to admit, it can be all of those things, but there’s something about taking a tiny seed and giving it everything it needs to come to life that satisfies the soul. Knowing you’re doing something that man has done for thousands of years, whether it’s growing your own food or bringing something beautiful to life, is both stunning in its simplicity and deeply moving.

These days it’s so easy to feel removed from nature, especially living in a city. I’m happy that my small gardens give me the chance to reconnect with the earth and remind me that I’m a part of nature, too.

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