I'm fresh out of the flower bed harvesting irises (coming in hot to our bloom bunch), a personal favorite bloom of mine, and thinking of the romance in growing flowers. Watching a smoky sunrise reach its peak, watching my collie play in the fields, and listening to the quiet vibration of blossoms awakening into the cold and clear, it's easy to feel like the flower farmer in the world's eye. Strolling through picturesque beds and being surrounded by such poignant beauty certainly holds its allure. But to capture that as the soul of flower growing? A gross oversimplification.
It's often said that flower growing has a way of consuming the present mind, a statement I spent some time failing to grasp.
I won't say I have a brown thumb. That feels too small a statement. If a black thumb ever existed, it would be found on *both* of my hands. Under Corinne's patient teaching, I have found a way to mimic skill through obsessive attentiveness and a near formulaic application of knowledge from other growers far more knowledgable and talented than I ever hope to be.I watch Corinne walk among the flowers with an intuition bordering on preternatural with some level of resentment. As I watch the violas and daffodils whisper their secrets to her, there's not a small amount of jealousy that burns in my gut. From this place, my passion often falls flat and at times I have fostered a distaste strong enough to say things like "Flowers just aren't my thing..." and other such drivel. Decidedly unromantic.
Lately, circumstances on the farm have necessitated that I step into a leading role in the flower fields.
(Though you cannot *hear* my voice tremble in indignation, do imagine it for me.)True to my nature, there was no challenge that was going to evade me. I was going to discover the romance of flowers. I was going to become a *good* grower. After all, as I have learned, beauty internally breeds beauty externally. Passion conveys passion. If I could just nail down this, I sensed a life-shift awaiting me on the other side. Like many other things, my resistance to flower growing has little to do with flowers. Oxymoronic you might say, stay with me.
(If you're thinking perhaps we're arriving at the true allure of flowers, you would be right).
The secret formula turned out not to be doubling down on my formulas and numbers and my desires for perfection. Often, those pursuits only confused my efforts and wilted more than my fair share of seedlings. As a person in my early 20's, I've found that it turns out growing flowers is a near-perfect paradigm for stepping into life as a person completely your own.
The life shift I mentioned? Wherein we learn to flow with life, health abounds.
Flower farming these days, for me, looks like slowing down and just listening. Planting my feet in the soil. Grounding myself. Letting intuition guide and gentle care lead. Though they were slow to reveal their chatter, soon I found the precocious blossom whispering to me too. The resulting beauty has been raw, powerful soul food.And the ability to give it to others? Transformative.
The romance of flowers is watching the cycle of fleeting beauty in an array of blooms reflected right back internally. It's the ability to devote oneself to nothing quite so practical as a necessity, but rather the pursuit of beauty for beauty's sake. The powerful elegance of nature's own creation, helped along by my black thumb (happily covered these days with some worn-through gardening gloves).
An LBR bouquet on your counter is the product of many journeys, lessons, and quiet companionship with nature. It is good intentions, love, and light given form. It is life, in its purest form, cut and wrapped and sold.Life. Pure, romantic, unfiltered, life. Growing right up from the soil.