Perennial Happiness

 Being around flowers, and people that are shopping for flowers is a great experience.  And that is what I am doing for the season, helping out in the perennial section of a local greenhouse.  When people are shopping for flowers, they are happy, excited, enjoying themselves.  

If there is one gripe I have, it is the people that come to me, asking for the perfect perennial that  blooms ALL summer.  There might be a few that come close….coreopsis comes to mind.  But really, there is not such thing.  Right?  Does anybody know of a perennial that would do that? 

Today I helped a person who had just moved into a new condo.  She has a little woodland area in the back, and was excited to cut a path and do some plantings along it.  I helped her with that, she went away happy.  And I got much enjoyment out of suggesting some plantings, mentally designing a garden…which is enough for me, I have plenty of my own plantings.  There is no need to start any new ones, but half the fun is visualizing what it will look like and picking out plants. 

Then there was an elderly woman that I will never forget.  She and her husband were looking at perennials.   I thought how sweet they were together, carefully discussing the merits of different plants.    They made several selections, and then he went on his way over to the annuals.  She mentioned to me that this was her last year of gardening.  I wondered why, to myself, as we continued to discuss plants.  A little later, she let me in on the whole story.   She had metatized breast cancer, it was now in her bones throughout her body.  She was bright and cheerful, had obviously accepted her condition, and was looking to enjoy all the time she had left.  She was picking out perennials for her husband to enjoy in future years.   She said she wanted to plant these for him.    Making the most of her time, enjoying herself and leaving a nice garden….what could be a more noble activity.

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