Grow Write Guild Prompt #7: Write about one plant that is currently in bloom.
Use the following questions and strategies to help spark different approaches to this prompt. Feel free to ignore this if you don’t need it.
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.
The Grow Write Guild is a creative writing club for people who love to garden. Everyone is welcome to participate! Click over to the Grow Write Guild FAQ to learn more about it.
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.
Before I talk about the project I wanted to mention the awkward image sizes that are appearing on the site. We are in the process of a redesign and will be using larger photos in the future. I plan to post at a larger size from here on out, but it will be a bit awkward until the new site design is functioning.
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.
One rainy Saturday morning six years ago I was kicked out of my apartment while a camera crew was there filming an interview with Davin. With nothing to do and no real direction, I found myself headed towards my community garden plot, which was then just a few blocks away. The garden was (and still is) an almost secret place tucked between an alley, the railroads tracks, and a beer store.
The documentary crew had been following me around for a few days and I was feeling contemplative and grateful for an hour of solitude to be alone with my thoughts. I didn’t have any work to do at the garden (a rarity) so I strolled around slowly, looking at little things. Eventually I caught myself standing still, just listening. I had never done that before. Here in the city we are always surrounded by sound and I think one of the ways we adapt to the constant assault on our senses is by tuning things out as if we are wearing earmuffs. The first sound I caught was the rhythmic, almost soothing hum of the beer store refrigerators. I had spent countless hours working in the garden and had never noticed the sound before. I heard car tires over pavement in the parking lot and the sound of car doors slamming. I heard a train zooming past, drowning out all other sounds for a minute. And then, when it got far enough away I heard crickets, small insects, people yelling, and my friend the mockingbird that often sits on a tower over the tracks imitating other birds and other sounds it picks up along the tracks.