And in the garden, there were flowers. There were flowers everywhere. They were beautiful. Their petals glowed in beautiful spring pastels and luscious summer colors. Whether it was the soft shades of pink, blue, yellow, or white that are found in a baby’s room or fiery red, vibrant orange, glowing blue, deep violet, canary yellow, or some other hue that Crayola had yet to patent, they were all gorgeously captivating in their salute to the change of the seasons.
That said, I never saw them until I was shown them. Instead, they blended into the backgrounds of the worlds that I hiked. Occasionally, little wildflowers might pop out at me, but I NEVER REALLY SAW the crocuses until they pushed up through the garden that grew in my backyard. Prior to their arrival as the second wave of winter’s announcement of goodbye, I never saw the snow drops peaking up through the snow and dead leaves of last autumn to tell me that winter might be long and it might be cold and its days might be dark, but it’s not forever; in fact, with the thick green explosions of new growth out of the dormancy, there is truly life out there.
It’s just a matter of waiting patiently for it.
In my lifetime, I waited through many dark winters for spring, but I always waited for the leaves as the tell-tale sign that we were on to bigger and better things with the coming of warmth and a time to wear T-shirts and shorts instead of having to bundle up in hat, gloves, and a coat. Oh, after the leaves came, there were always the trains of geese walking behind their mothers, but mostly, the first call of spring was those thick and vibrant leaves of spring calling out to be witnessed as the messengers of brighter days ahead.
Prior to that, as the dark dreary hands of winter stretched from one end of the seasonal blackout to the other side of rebirth, the trees couldn’t change from skeletal brown to the full clumps of greens soon enough. However, in waiting for that one particular color, I often neglected to entertain the fact that there were whites and pinks and reds that kicked off the change of seasons as they woke up the lower level cherry trees, pear trees, red buds, magnolias, plums, dogwoods, and lilacs.
Before that magnificent day when the lightly-colored chartreuse leaves of early spring multiplied in exponential form to truly fill in Mount Penn and Neversink Mountain, an event that literally changed the view of Reading from a sparsely decorated morning to an afternoon that brilliantly lit up the world as a whole, I only looked for that one thing: green leaves (author's note - one of a few days all year Reading is beautiful - the other would be the change to full on autumn leaves).
But now, now I had changed, and I saw the daffodils and the tulips, too. Eventually, I came to see the lilies and the irises and the orchids and the roses, which all grew beautifully beside the hyacinths and the hibiscuses and the foxgloves and the peonies. And I saw others, too. I saw black-eyed Susans, anemones, hostas, columbines, fucshias, pansies, asters, daisies, geraniums, golden rods, forget-me-nots, lavenders, primrose, and violets.
Oh, but they weren’t the only ones that I saw.
I saw tiny flowers hidden in the gardens and big elephant ears that hung in the nurseries and greenhouses. I saw the yellows of the forsythia as they transformed the bushes and forest floors to something that was truly “living” again. I saw the white petals of the early flowering trees on the grass as they gave way to that electric green that signaled youth and vitality.
And it was beautiful.
But before H and I were given a free pair of tickets for Longwood Gardens in late March of 2008, I would have never considered that there was more to a forest or a field or a mountain than whether it was decorated with splayed out boulders or a stream cutting deeply into it. In those days of long ago, hiking seemed to be about the destination or the pictures that could be taken while walking through the forest, not the environment as a whole. Sure, I knew that not every forest had a waterfall, nor did all mountains have extreme vistas at the top to stand apart as some kind of destination, but I never really thought about how all unspoiled forests had tiny little bits of coloring and growth that made them special. It’s just that finding that something special meant opening my eyes to see it. It just meant that I had to take off my mp3 player to hear it. I had to breathe in through my nose to smell it.
I had to let my senses bring it all back to life for what it truly was.
And just like with tiny little animals or the call of a bird, it was something that I actively had to take notice of or it wasn’t really there at all, and when I learned that, I embraced it.
All of the snakes that I spent my time searching for, the bears that I wanted to gaze upon, or the deer that I wanted to stumble across my path would never really be there unless I opened myself up to the forest to truly allow them to be there, so with that, I entered on a paved path to allow myself to view wildlife and Nature’s garden (author's note - I guess last year that I opened up to Nature).
The early spring visions of March 29, 2008, were dreary and overcast with a slight drizzle of rain coming down through the garden as we entered the 1,077 acres of landscaped flowerbeds, buildings, statues, and fountains. I had been to parks outside museums and castles and stately buildings before, but I had never been to anything like Longwood Gardens before. It wasn’t historic like the Abbey Gardens in Bury St. Edmunds, nor was it expansive nature in the middle of a city like Central Park in New York, but inside its walls was a new world I had never looked upon before. For me, even in the misty morning, I could tell that something was coming to life here underneath the world that I was walking on.
The first image through the glass doors was a field, a path, and some buildings. Instead of taking the path forward, H and I took it to the right, and we saw a hanging basket with purple and yellow petals, which floated over a Roman sculpted pot filled with additional flowers that looked exactly like the ones that were hovering there in front of us. As we finished gazing upon them, we walked on through the hedgerows and saw the vine-covered arches that were slowly springing to life. Brick buildings with alcoves awaited us and made a perfect place to pose for a picture. Lakes and their bridges stretched out beside us as the trees that surrounded them slowly opened up with the leaves that would mark the coming of spring. A wooden building with staircases on both sides led up to a place to view the grounds that were all around it. We walked inside, and we gazed upon carved dragons, which stood guard over the beautiful woodwork that made up the building we were now within. Coming out again, we spied a squirrel that was missing his tail. He didn’t seem to mind, so we just admired his comic search for food while trying to avoid the intruders who were focused on his uniqueness.
Walking out through the paths again, we came to a conclusion in the silent understanding of all things that the world was all ours. Only a few other bodies were in the gardens that day. Perhaps, it was the weather. Perhaps, they were waiting for spring to fully bring the colors out of the ground. Whatever it was, it didn’t matter; the garden was all ours.
As we walked over to the next stop on the path, we saw the fountains of Longwood in their winter hibernation. No waters danced from spigots. No children looked over and gawked at the choreographed visions. Instead, the world of spring was still sleeping.
The gazebo on the edge was still in its place as was the ram’s head on the stonework pottery. The willow trees were starting to bloom, and the grass was getting greener, but no waters shot out from the mouths of stone frogs. For these amphibians, spring was still a ways away.
We walked on through paths of stone and mulch. A cross dedicated to Hannah, the last of the Lenape Indians, served as a seat for another squirrel as he ate hungrily while surveying the shoots of flowers poking out through the ground. Yellows, blues, and whites polka-dotted the grass up ahead. The signs of spring were beginning to show, but never too much to give way to the whole season all at once.
We continue to walk around. A hillside appeared lifeless across the fields. The forests felt deep and thick with vegetation. And as we moved beyond them, soon, we came through the opening to face an ivy-covered building. We walked inside and saw the flowers of spring in full bloom. Orchids and lilies were alive in orange and white as were other flowers that filled the bottom floor of a mansion in the middle of Pierre Du Pont’s conservationist effort to save as much of the area around his lands that he possibly could.
While walking through these grounds, it’s obvious that it took some cash to amass and refine these lands into what they are, but from the time Eleuthère Irénée du Pont hit town in this corner of Penn’s Woods in 1800, he began to work to establish the Du Pont family name as a major name in business. The first step in this process was when he founded the E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. A pair of initials seemed a lot easier to pronounce than his actual name, so he went with it.
Through the years, this business would be handed down to other members of the family, eventually settling into the lap of Pierre, who used it to begin work for some of his other interests that were less factory and business-like.
Kennett Square’s prime attraction grew and grew during the first half of the 20th century. The money and love of a man who was deeply committed to nature and gardens made sure of that. However, for all that Pierre did, Longwood Gardens wasn’t all about the Du Ponts, since its place as a natural attraction really began about 200 years before the days of Pierre Du Pont. This was when Quaker brothers Joshua and Samuel Peirce bought land from William Penn to turn into an arboretum. During the time that it was owned by the Peirce family, Longwood even became a stop on the Underground Railroad, so it also boasts some historical significance.
Somehow, fate allowed for many things to happen in this beautiful place. For instance, a grove of trees became connected to a person whose family made their name from gun powder. In the same respect, quiet ponds and extensive rows of flowers were made possible for by a man who ran General Motors. A company that was owned by one of the richest men in America made it possible for all people, rich and poor, to escape from their urban and suburban lives to see and experience the botanical world in all of its glories, which is what H and I were doing on that day. Sure, they had to pay $16 at the time that I first went there in order to do it (it’s more now), but it seemed to be such a small amount to pay for so much happiness.
After all, wasn’t that what perfectly aligned annuals and perennials, which were springing from the earth and calling out to the world that winter was past, really were?
In all of these images, it was clear to see that spring was here.
William Carlos Williams wrote, “They enter the new world naked, cold, uncertain of all save that they enter. All about them the cold, familiar wind -- Now the grass, tomorrow the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf. One by one objects are defined -- It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf. But now the stark dignity of entrance -- Still, the profound change has come upon them: rooted they grip down and begin to awaken.”
In the straight and diagonal rows of perfectly planted flowers, this was true. As the blossoms started protruding from the twiggy ends of tree branches, this was an absolute certainty. The brick-lined paths do little to show what will come from the flowers around them, but the tulips are planted in their deep rows. What color their heads will be is yet to be determined, but eventually, they too will explode onto the scene. Nevertheless, someone has choreographed their placement to coincide with their true birth, those days when their petals would glow in the afternoon sunshine. It’s just a matter of being here when they do. H says that this will happen in a few weeks, and I listen intently.
We will be back; oh yes, we will be back!
If the whites and purples of the living, breathing tulips inside the conservatory have anything to say about what will come, there is a magnificence that will be here in the weeks that follow. If the pure white lilies and their pinkish edges and greenish-yellow throats have anything to add to the argument that there must be return visit, they are breathing their perfume to the noses that choose to smell their fragrance.
And with long brownish-red hair stretching down onto a caramel-colored leather jacket, Heather looks so beautiful in her happiness for the spring moment that is here for us. Walking amidst the orchids and the spitting turtle sculptures, passing the foxgloves and the bushes that can barely contain themselves in their places beside the paths, these flowers stretch for space and freedom beneath the roof, inside the wall. They are too alive to be anything less, and we are too! Who could be anything less in such a botanical dream?
Everywhere is the celebratory cheer of being alive. The anthers and stigmas reach out from the maroon centers of light blue flowers and scream for pollination. The spikey heads of raspberry-colored blossoms seem ready for takeoff as they sit on their perches just waiting to be. Everything is about being. Life is about maturing and experiencing, so let the world outside be mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful. Let the world inside be ginormous and grand in its shapes, sizes, and quantities. Let the children gawk and smile and touch everything.
This is no stodgy art museum. This is a hands-on experience of life.
From the miniature trees to the hanging baskets to the petals at our feet, there is a coordination of color everywhere. There is a certain perfection of arrangement. Even though flowers are everywhere, filling every nook and cranny of the paths that wind through this grand building, they aren’t ridiculously thrown on top of one another. Instead, they are sculpted with precision and purpose in how they are planted.
Now is the time of orchids in the conservatory. Whether they are to be judged or viewed, they fill tables, and they are incorporated in the decorative flowers that fill the main room of Longwood Gardens. They are on the ceilings and on the walls. They are on tables, and they seem to hover in the air. Tiny brushes have painted their petals with drip drops of pink, purple, white, and yellow. Broad strokes color them blue, white, red, pink, yellow, orange, and maroon. Mossy branches stretch out to make homes for other flowers that are a long way from their traditional homes. Staring at each plant with purpose and wonder, it’s a grand sight to behold and to photograph. Some of them seem to have faces. Others seem to tell a message that is written out in some foreign language. Others appear to be altogether alien to this world. Whether they would be more at home in a swamp or on another planet is still to be determined, but wherever they belong, they are truly gorgeous in my here and now.
Some of these orchids are just a few petals. Others, stand with mouth pointing out as if they are trying to kiss something or someone. Some are star like. Others seem to have ruffles and decorative edges. Still others appear to be painted with multiple exotic colors as if they are floating down to the ground in a declaration of war. Nevertheless, most of them, even the ones that look like aliens floating down to Earth from their spaceships, just appear gentle in their pastels and vibrant shading that just seeks to decorate and soften the world around them.
Whatever category that they are a part of, they are beautiful. Whether they are sparsely placed or if they are pouring out from some showerhead that stands atop the display of orchids, their expression is one of perfection.
Moving on back to the unexplored recesses of the conservatory, we go through a children’s section where we are greeted by a fire-breathing dragon and more decorative statues of birds, fish, and turtles, which are spraying water everywhere. The playfulness of the room does much to capture our attention, but as we are in the other rooms, we are now walking through great halls and seeing other flowers that have made us forget all of the things that once captivated us so intently. Some of the flowers have a southwestern theme, but unfortunately, there are no flowering cacti for us to gaze upon. There are just tall stalks of green and brown to behold. Sure, I love the desert canyons, but the desert flowers, at least when they aren’t flowering like they were in 2005, aren’t much to hold the imagination past the fact that I am in a natural world where cacti exist.
Through more orchids, we have traveled to arrive at the bromeliads. They, too, are a beautiful tropical flower that seems more at home on some alien planet. James Cameron must have seen flowers like these when he designed the Na’vi’s world of Pandora in the movie Avatar. These flowers guide us into a heated room that houses hibiscuses and roses. I am amazed by the giant flying saucers and their antennas that reach out with stigmas ready for action. Be they the clown colored yellow and white and red flower or the more classy pink and peach variety, they are all there with the vibrant red flowers that seem to be the size of an elephant’s ear. They seem to grow and grow and grow, and as they do, they invite more attention than the incidental roses that poke up through fencing designed to showcase the blooming red, yellow, and peach roses that are in the middle of the room. Nevertheless, there are many people who would argue with me over the superior glory of roses. They have log-jammed the thin path back to the center of the conservatory, and they are inhaling deeply to feel the fragrance in their lungs. They are taking their pictures just like I am.
They are choosing to remember this day forever and ever so that someday, they can look back on all of their images and say, “This was the best day ever.”
Hopefully, there was ice cream to be had to ensure that it truly was the best day ever.
After we have left the room and traveled through more orchids, we are soon back to the main entrance to the conservatory only to be brushed back outside to see what is planted amidst the other corners of Longwood. There are sculptured hedges, and there are more dormant fountains. The bushy trees of last year have been manicured with haircuts, and they are now bald until spring truly springs for the rest of out of doors Longwood Gardens.
Don’t worry trees! Your locks will grow soon! Don’t worry fields! Your grasses will soon have picnics being held on them! Kites will fly above you soon enough as April’s blue skies invite more people to come and see you than were out here today to brave the drizzly rains and the muggy warmth of a late March day.
Don’t worry at all! We will be back soon.
And three weeks later, we are back, walking through the paths, the sun shining, the fountains pushing water high up into the air, the frogs croaking, the tree houses inviting guests, and the flowers glowing against the backdrop of baby blue skies and green grass.
The brain flowers are full and alive. Hydrangeas, as they are known to the botanist, push out into rounded bushes and highlight the ground displays of the greenhouse’s main room. In addition, the calla lilies grow and glow, and the foxgloves stretch to reach the ceiling. Pretty big and little yellows, whites, blues, and pinks are scattered and clumped together throughout the room. No matter where you look, the room is alive with spring!
In the indoor pool area, there is no water as there is in different seasons of the year. Instead, there are tables filled with endless rows of daffodils, which are better known by their alternative pronunciation “de foe dills.” Someone has judged that some of these flowers are better than others, but to me, I can’t see much of a difference; they’re all gorgeous. They are all standing proud and tall as the representatives of spring. Some are yellow, and some are white. Some have an orange center, while others are yellow and white.
In the midst of all of this are the lilies. They are pure white with just a hint of light green in their throats as they sing for the season. Their white color matches that of the hydrangeas that are hovering above the room in their enormous hanging baskets. These containers are so big, in fact, that they may as well be hanging buckets or tubs as opposed to the normal hand baskets that exist in all of the normal settings.
But then again, this is not normal. This is Longwood Gardens. Here is a place where everything is bigger, better, and more… more intensely colored, more full of flowers, and more unique than your average garden. It is a place for children to come and get lost in the over-whelming-ness of it all. It is a place for adults to pretend that they are kids as they stop caring about all of the things that don’t matter. It is a place where even if you don’t know all of the botanical names for things, you can still go and feel as educated to the botanical world as the guy with the 18” camera lens or the woman with the green thumb.
And we are here, taking it all in, and it is a great day, but at no point is it better than when we walk together down Tulip Alley for the first time. Sure, we take in the orchids, the hibiscuses, and the other flowers that are always here, and sure, we see the bonsai trees and the banana trees and the flowers of the Southwest again, but there is something magnificent about Tulip Alley.
There are two areas where tulips are bunched into at Longwood. There is area that is filled with a series of patchwork quilts, which is located behind the Truffula Trees and the waterfalls. That is soft and beautiful in its arrangement, but Tulip Alley is more populated, and the sections of colors stretch deeper and further. In future visits to Longwood, we came to spend more time staring at the parrot tulips with their fringes. The yellow tips that sit atop the bright red flowers are a truly incredible sight to behold. However, I don’t recall seeing any of them that day. Maybe we were just in overload. It’s a very big possibility since the path at Tulip Alley was filled with yellows, reds, oranges, maroons, violets, lavenders, whites, and pinks. The botanists who work at Longwood mix them together in patterns that accentuate and play off one another. For example, the yellows, oranges, and reds blend into a sea of vibrant color, which plays even more glowingly against the whites that sit on their other side.
At the top of the field of view, the white blossoms of trees beckon another wave of color that is coming in the following weeks. With this, the trees will be alive in their greens by the beginning of May. For now, the hyper-vigilant visitor will be treated to blossom on twigs and candy tufts of color on the cherry trees that are scattered throughout the park. In addition, the viewer will see the fountains dancing and the ponds coming to life. If these people look closely, they will see fish swimming in the waters and frogs calling out to potential mates.
Everything is here, and everything is wonderful!
There’s even a manmade waterfall by a stone bell tower that chimes endlessly to the coming of the time, this time that is all good and wonderful. Above it, the path winds upward to reveal a well-crafted stream and an artistic drain that takes the water from its oft-neglected and forgotten corners to the main part of the park where it rubs up against the biggest of the fountains, which lie in front of the green house looking forward to the time when they will get to delight guests with their choreography.
In a quiet corner of these walled in fountains, there are statues to ornament the boundaries. The gentleman on the left kind of resembles George Washington while the younger girl to his right looks like Jodie Foster wearing a big hat that resembled the kind that was popular during those days that inspired the impressionism of guys like Georges Seurat. However, we are not on the Island of Grand-Jatte; we are a stone’s throw from the outskirts of Philadelphia and its dirty, industrial confines.
George is holding a pitcher while Jodie is dressed like a fashionable Little Bo Peep with her basket and her rounded staff. They are a perfect couple to hold court by the hedgerows and the ivy that decorate the areas that surround the fountains, which are not quite ready to be turned on yet, but there are other fountains that are alive and bouncing and dancing down at the other end of the lake.
In early spring, the flowering whites and pinks of the trees are more prevalent than they were in the late winter. This seems to coincide with the idea that each wave of spring beckons with more plants as the previous waves of flowers vanish into fertilizer for next season’s blossoms. This spring season of life and rebirth and flowering beauty will continue through the summer months as well, while it tries its hardest to stretch into the late days of October when the leaves of the trees begin to change into their vibrant seasonal shades of red, orange, yellow, and brown, which seem to be at their peak through the northern part of Pennsylvania around about the 10th of said month, unless it's unseasonably warm.
However, many flowers have to blossom and pose for the cameras before this final farewell to the three “living” seasons of the year drift off into winter slumber.
At Longwood Gardens, the spring season that we have come to explore still has a lot to offer us until the true summer season brings forth the water lilies. However, if we jump ahead to those visits when we get to see those glorious little flowers, we can be enthralled with their various shades of blues, purples, pinks, and whites. Be they tiny and ornamental or huge and glowing against their lily pads, they are an amazing sight to behold. Dragonflies dance on the heads of lilies waiting to blossom or make visits to the yellow tentacle heart of the flowers that are already open. Other tentacles stretch out and wave with wobbly shaped antennae that seem to await these insect visitors. For a final burst of summer joy that coincides with the fireworks of July and withers with the heat of the hotter months of the year, this is the place to be for floral goodness.
As the hotter months cool into an Indian summer, there seems to be a transition in what exists in the garden as so many of the once proud flowers are now dried up and cut down. Nevertheless, the magical faeries have snuck into the park and changed the displays without anyone knowing. Thus, we can see autumn’s glory, which will bring the hearty, exploded bushes of mums and the giant pumpkins, which could encase a small child or three. The gourd displays are also present, and the greenhouse is pretty much the same as it always is, but other than that, not many things are happening in the gardens as the flowers just mentally prepare themselves for next year when they will get ready to do the dance all over again.
So even when we aren’t here, we look through pictures online and printed out and place in frames. We think back to many, many trips that we have taken and think of all of the trips that we will continue to take. We remember how the tulips and daffodils, which reach out toward a whole different time and place, a time when the mums turn brown under the cold weather’s freezing chill, were so alive and infinite in their reach across the garden beds, blending casually into different shades of tulips that sit next to them.
In the middle of this time of wait, this time of the coming freezing winds, snow, and ice, the natural world will seem to vanish save the days that snows and icicles decorate a world that has yet to place a boot print in the pure whiteness of the world. For this, Longwood does its part to prolong this dormancy as they prepare for the coming of Christmas with trees, which are decorated with hundreds of thousands of lights that are strung across the branches, hugging close to the needles in order to keep the pines and firs warm. Be they indoors or out, these trees shine merrily with the festivity of the season. And through it all, the hustle of thousands of guests at a time, pushing through the frosty air to hear Christmas songs played through the confines of the stately mansion, also do their part to create a different sensation of botanical joy than is felt when the spring air breathes life back into the park as it does double duty keeping kites afloat. For a short time, they and all of these things will be here, and then they too will bid adieu for a couple of months that can be summed up as the anticipation or the wait.
What a sad time it is, but like all times, it eventually passes and the cycle begins again, just like it did for H and I on this first day.
And once again, during these months of warmth and life, there seem to be a million different visions of the seasonal dress of the park. Just like in the winter’s cold, there are still greenhouses pumped full of heat and shined down on from the sun. However, now that winter is gone and spring and summer are here, it can be accompanied by strings and horns oompahing to the adoring crowds with the thought that when you’re smiling the whole world smiles with you and its opposite thought that when you’re crying you bring on the rain so stop your sighing, be happy again. It could just be the laughter of children running through mazes and giggling or slurping up hot, drippy ice cream. Whichever way it happens, it’s all good.
This is life. This is good. Everything is right.
As the years go by, I will notice this more and more in Longwood Gardens and in the garden that H has grown for us. For instance, early July is the time when the stargazers begin to grow from the six foot tall stalks, unless they’re indoors at Longwood, when their pinks and whites can be seen around Valentine’s Day with twice the beauty as behind the lily sits another lily to amplify the original flower’s beauty.
Prior to these changes, the end of the daffodils will bring forth the rhododendron flowers and the carpet roses and the irises and the lilies and the hundreds of other varieties that I am trying to learn in both common name and Latin expression. It will also bring forth a host of flowers that were rescued from clearance bins and other flowers that were picked for their color scheme. Flowers that were planted years ago will blossom for the first time. Toward the middle of May, the peonies will give their best for the five days or so that they are truly alive and well until the spring rains and winds whip the petals to the ground and the giant flower heads vanish for another 51 weeks.
But this is just one flower’s story among many.
Throughout this time, other flowers will be moved and shifted to better places. Old dead flowers will be replaced by new lively flowers. Every spare bit of time will be placed into making things better. Every spare bit of pocket change will go toward mulching and replanting and accessorizing. The little English garden in the middle of Pennsylvania Dutch Country will expand with an impulse of biggering!
There will be bird baths. There will be ornaments hanging from the trees. There will be other changes, too, but to think about those things is to jump over the idea of all of the things that I never knew. Like Bobby Darin, I never knew what any of these things could be until a certain someone came along and showed them to me (author's note - i'ts not that I wasn't shown before this - it's just that I wasn't ready). I was clueless and hopeless and unable to see and feel what was. I never noticed any of the tiny wild flowers in the forest. Tom Petty could tell me that I belong in them, but I wasn’t going there.
Frankly, I don’t know where I was going from the time I left England on July 8, 1996, up through in all that time before H, and for that, I’m glad she came into my life in the late fall of 2007. I couldn’t imagine where I’d be without her or her green thumb, which is something she used to enhance me and clip off my rough edges.
I’m glad she did because frankly, I wouldn’t be who I am without H being who she is, which is someone very special and talented and kind and patient and wonderful and artistic and appreciative of all natural beauty that this world can hold, even if its reined in under the glass roof of a greenhouse.
There will be many more seasons of flowers, and I will breathe in their scents every spring and summer and fall for all of the days of our lives.