As long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by flowers. I remember examining a bush of Bleeding Hearts when I was a very small girl. I was mesmerized by the puffy, heart-shaped blossoms of pink and white that dangled from the leafy branches.
My parents were not gardeners but my Italian grandparents were. My grandfather grew vegetables and would take me around his garden to show me the tomatoes and green peppers sprouting from each plant. He took pleasure in watching them grow from one day to the next.
My grandmother had two beds of flowers; one was full of red Silvia with tubes of nectar that we plucked and sucked for their sweet taste; the other was full of Snapdragons with their puffy petals bursting in bright yellows, deep reds, and regal purples. These flowers were magical; we could open the jaws of the dragon by squeezing the flower.
When I was in my late twenties, I began gardening myself and filled my plots with sturdy plants; Lilies, in orange, yellow and pink; Columbines with their crown-shaped flowers in shades of pinks, purples, and yellow; Irises in all shapes and colours; and Solomon’s Seal with its dangling bells of white.
I have tended these flowers with care. I have watched them bloom year after year with eagerness. Fascinated by their intricate shapes and designs, I have examined them, taken pictures of them, and painted them in several different media. They fill me with wonder and awe. They stand in my garden as little sentinels reminding me of the incredible beauty in nature; of the wondrous beauty of our little blue planet.