Thursday, May 16, 2013

Forcing Myself to Enjoy the Flowers

You must think the title of this post is strange. I mean, what kind of gardener has to force herself to enjoy flowers? Well, it isn't that hard for me to enjoy them; in fact, I enjoy them a little too much - in my gardens.

I'm one of those people who has a hard time cutting flowers and bringing them inside. I've tried to figure out why this is so difficult for me to do and it's pretty simple, really. I enjoy seeing plants and flowers in their natural environment. Not that our flowers grow naturally in well-defined spaces that suit our tastes, but natural in the sense that the blooms are still attached to the plant that grew them.

Erin Schanen, of The Impatient Gardener, knows exactly what this is like, because she's "one of them" too.  Erin is trying to overcome this aversion to cutting flowers from our gardens by going public with a campaign she calls, "The Garden Appreciation Society."  She's challenging us to cut some flowers, make a bouquet, and post the photo of it online.

Okay, Erin.  I took the bait and rose to the occasion.  But it wasn't easy.  I told you I'd do it, but  in the back of my mind, I just wasn't sure I could.  Then this evening, as I was cutting off the spent tulip stems, I was inspired.  And it wasn't a flower that motivated me.

It was those tulips - the ones that looked great a couple of weeks ago.  The ones that dropped their petals just last weekend.  The ones that made these amazingly awesome seed pods.  Those.

These are the seed pods of one of my species tulips- Tulipa tarda:

Before they do that, they look like this:

I love it when a plant doubles the fun like that.

But anyway, I decided that I'd just use those seed pods and find some other things in the garden to go with them.  Since there's always an abundance of chives and columbine, it didn't pain me too much to cut those blooms.

A little harder to cut were the Euphorbia 'Ascot Rainbow' blooms, but I've got plenty of those too, and I'll be cutting those soon anyway, so that the plant will bulk up and branch out. (Although this Euphorbia doesn't really require any pruning, if you don't want to.)

They've got The Most Awesome Blooms that most people will never notice because they won't get down close enough to see the beautiful detail. Just look at this!

Euphorbia x martinii 'Ascot Rainbow'

 So here's what I came up with for my bouquet:


It's small - just 10 inches at its tallest point.  Baby steps...


To see how others are enjoying flowers from their gardens, visit Erin's blog.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

This is a fabulous bouquet. I have heard of this phenom of not wanting to cut flowers before. I don't have that aversion at all. I love cutting a few blooms and bringing them inside to admire. A dear friend of mine asked me not to bring her cut flowers. She prefers to see them in the garden. I always thought this was odd. Probably because I love to receive cut flowers. ha... Now I can say to her I know others with this aversion. Or I should say appreciation.

Beth said...

Your bouquet is pretty. The euphorbia is awesome! I don't cut many flowers to bring in; my reason: my cat gets into them - eating them, spilling the water in the vase, etc. She's a curious cat! When I do bring them in, they go in a place she cannot reach, either the fireplace mantel or behind closed doors!

Christys Cottage Wildlife Garden said...

OMG...I thought I was the only one that had this "affliction". I never cut flowers to bring them inside. I don't know why...I have plenty of flowers growing, but for some reason I think if I cut them there won't be enough left outside...very, very odd. My hubby is always saying let's make a cutting garden. However, I know I wouldn't be able to cut those either! I'm so glad I'm not alone! You did great for your first attempt. I hope I can get there someday!

Alison said...

I don't like cutting my flowers and bringing them inside either. I don't know why, but I'm glad others feel the same way. I just prefer seeing them outside on t he plant.

BTW, I'm sure you know this, but it's possible others don't -- be very careful when cutting Euphorbia, the sap can irritate your skin and if it gets in your eyes it can blind you (sometimes the stem is very juicy and the sap will squirt like a lemon).

Erin @ The Impatient Gardener said...

I'm so proud of you Kylee! And the bouquet you came up with is absolutely stunning. And I bet there are still plenty of flowers in your garden to enjoy!

I'm so glad you participated.

Rose said...

I'm another gardener who hates to cut off blooms; I'd rather enjoy them in the garden. I always bring in lilacs, though, but then my old shrub is covered with blooms, so you'd never notice any missing ones. Your bouquet is beautiful, Kylee, and so creative!

Mary Anne @leafport said...

Wow, and here I am thinking I was the only gardener who felt this way too! They last so much longer outside, unpicked, and provide food for the bees, butterflies, and birds. I've always felt this trumps my wanting to enjoy them indoors!

Kylee Baumle said...

Lisa ~ Thank you, Lisa! I never really gave it a thought until just a few years ago. My mom always had fresh flowers in the house when they were in season. I have no idea why I'm this way!

Beth ~ Thanks! Our cats are pretty good about such things. They will attempt to eat things that look like grass though.

Christy ~ That is EXACTLY how I feel about it! I think they'll be missed outside!

Jenny said...

Absolutely beautiful!

I don't have a problem with cutting my flowers. I post pics of them almost weekly in every kind of container imaginable. I love seeing them inside & out no matter the season or weather.

Linnae said...

I had to smile when I read this post. I am the same way! It was only when my kids were allowed to pick tulips at a friends' house (as many as they wanted--eek!), and I saw their utter delight, that I decided to take a deep breath and take the plunge. Actually, it was fun once I got going! I even took a picture of the arrangement. Maybe I'll head over to Erin's blog and link up. :)
p.s. One thing I love about this area: there's a u-pick flower farm not far from my house. $6 gets you as many blooms as you can cram into a cut off milk jug. It's awesome! I get to pick somebody else's flowers! :)

Tammy N said...

I found your delightful bouquet and blog through the garden appreciation web site. I have never been one to pick flowers from my garden and bring them in. Then I read the book Petals and Twigs (see my review on my website and set a goal to pick a fresh bouquet each week. I was excited to find Erin's challenge and the opportunity to share my weekly bouquets and see what others are creating.

RobinL said...

I'm with you Kylee. It's very difficult for me to enjoy cut flowers, and I admit, I rarely do. I like them outside where they belong! How are they supposed to make those pretty seed pods if we cut them and bring them inside?

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