Today I’ll share a few stories related to special flowers in my life.
Whenever I see roses, I think of a funny thing that happened to me when I was in my early twenties. I had just started dating a guy who checked parking passes where I worked. I invited him to my cozy little A-frame house on Puget Sound in Washington state. When we got to my house, I pulled open the screen door and there was a bouquet of roses tucked next to the main door. I grinned and asked if they were from him. “No,” he said sheepishly. He pulled a bouquet of roses from behind his back. Oops. The flowers in my door were from a different admirer. Awkward!
I took these photos on the High Desert Garden Tour this summer. The tour takes place in different Central Oregon locations, from sprawling rural ranches to tiny city yards. This year the featured gardens were in Bend.
Another one of my special flowers is hibiscus. We had relatives who lived in Hawaii, and I associate this flower with the islands. I have fond memories of watching geckos crawling up the bathroom walls while doves cooed softly outside the open window. I remember my auntie cooking bananas in bubbling butter and brown sugar. We’d go on trips to places only locals knew, like natural waterslides carved by streams cutting through lush forests.
I live in the High Desert, where temperatures reach extremes, and I’m always surprised to see this “tropical” plant thriving here. These photos were taken in Bend.
I also like hydrangeas. We had a hydrangea growing alongside my childhood home. It produced big blue blossoms in softball-sized clusters. I tried to grow them where I used to live in Washington state. We had one hundred inches of rain a year at our house near the Cascade Mountains. Maybe all that rain washed away whatever hydrangeas needed to bloom because we never had flowers.
At our current house in Bend, where ten inches of rain falls a year, they will grow. Unfortunately, our deer “landscapers” like to trim our shrubs too often, as you can see in the picture below. There’s nothing left of this white hydrangea plant except a few twigs sticking out of the ground.
So, when I want to satisfy my cravings for hydrangeas, I have to find them elsewhere. I took these pictures at the Oregon Garden in Silverton.