47 Winter’s petal power

Part 2   2014’s lesson for 2015

As this is still the beginning of a New Year,  firstly, thank you very much to those who have read the La Floralie posts over the past few months.

This post has to start with 2014, because whilst the year might have sped past, I realise, that yet again,  I have been one of those “slow learners”. Life has dealt me a “slow hand”. It has always taken me a while to catch on to the most obvious and simplest things in life, and even working through La Floralie over the past 6 months or so, I eventually realised it would prove to be  yet another very overdue life’s lesson for me. Not expected, but perhaps definitely required.

Missing half the year

I have never been one that needed to be persuaded to watch and listen to Nature, but observing for La Floralie in the intense ways I have found myself doing, stopped me in my tracks to bring up revelations I was not expecting. This was not least, the discovery, that the things which are fundamental and most important, do literally happen just below our feet.

Even whilst I had always thought I was a Nature lover, in the past, I still seemed to manage to discount almost half the year’s offerings as rather “grey”. I had always considered that the prime joys of the floral communities,  were found in the first Spring blossom, and then in the triumphant strength of summer’s primary colours. That to me was life at its best. What was the point of Winter,  I used to think.

I had also equated Spring and Summer with my own ability to live more positively from April to September, when the days are longer. As such, this also meant that from October to March, I had ignored Autumn and Winter, viewing this time of encroaching darkness  as dull, despairing, cold and colourless. Seemingly boring. But such is a profane vanity, which expects that life should bring the sun to shine everyday with warmth, and that flowers should be in constant bloom just to delight.

So, oh, what shock to discover differently. Well, how my eyes have been opened on all my very poor assumptions, because of course, there is depth to Winter’s darkness in its essential conservation of resources. I had never really tapped into it so seriously before. Unfortunately I think it might be called  my own “ageing” process at work, which now appreciates the “more mature seasons.”

It had been my plan to review my 2014 flowers for this first post of 2015 and put in some of the immense florals from summer, blooms and colour to look forward to.  And without doubt, when looking across my photos from last year I was amazed how much more there was, which I hadn’t seen before. But the essence of La Floralie has been to reflect the time. This is what doing the blog has really requested me to do,  to respond to what is happening around us and to “tune in”.  It would be a mistake  to contradict that, because to observe out in all weathers, is actually been a gift, even if it did not appear that way at the start.

The struggle of Winter colour

So before the year moves on, in spite of  Winter protests of colourless days,  there does emerge small and colourful flowers right by my feet.  Without doubt there have been struggles. How hard it appears for them to finally open, after being exposed to all weathers, and growing in spite of it.

On a cold Winter day,  these small flowers make no fuss of frost, even though they may naturally adore the new Spring light and Summer warmth. I certainly could have missed them, because they do not ask to be noticed, their ears and eyes are directed close to the ground. But the purpose of sharp, bright colour is designed to attract.

As one’s attention was drawn downwards, one realises that all through the seasons, the purpose of some flowers is to live to create delight all year. But it comes with sheer loyalty, unthanked determination to press through all weathers. With a funny little face-up or face down, the pansy is the very bloom, along with the primula, to both successfully give us the lasting petal power, colour and the offer of small, but bright hope for all seasons. I wonder if those polyanthus ever were able to open fully, the struggle looks immense.

It takes courage to be a constant flower.

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© 2015 La Floralie


    1. Hello Meredith

      How very nice to hear from you. Thanks for following up and very glad you like the posts.

      RE: Pansies . I love them, I am not a flower expert myself, but if they don’t get too wet or too cold they seem to be remarkable little survivors! I have some outside and in the ground they do come up year after year, but my ones in pots, this week sadly look a little like stir-fry cabbage through too much cold and wet!

      Do your pansies also have a scent? I only learned this a few years ago that some do.
      Best Jane


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