It Is Unpleasant To Be Exposed

At the end of the sculpture garden, a conservatory. Coming as it did near the end of a blustery walk, perhaps it carried more relief than it otherwise would – though this sort of environment has always held special allure for those of us enamored of plants and flowers.

Rose-tainted bracts of Spathiphyllum, surrounding their phallic flowers, brought a sense of primal urgency to the proceedings, reminding of the sexual sub-layer that runs through all of life. A plaque offered up words of wisdom, ruminations, and an explanation for the enclosures at hand.

I admire when words and beauty collide. If there’s a single goal for this blog – for this entire website in fact – it’s that wondrous collision. The crux that obliterates all else ~ that moment of intersection between mind and heart. Whenever they meet, there is magic. Sometimes, being in a special place aids in the alchemy.

The gods have always lived in clearings, sacred groves, or green theaters enclosed by special walls. ~ Barbara Stauffacher Solomon

On this day, when the wind was whipping around and the earth was still gray and brown, this little enclosure of glass and green was like a hand upon the heart – a reassuring embrace that all would be well, that spring would again return, that there was still love and hope and beauty in the world.

Vital shades of green – from chartreuse to lime to silvery frost – clicked something in the head. The connection of memory to sun, of color to light, cleared the dusty shelves of spring.

Succulents are an easy group of plants to keep, provided you have the requisite sun. The trick to their cultivation is a steady and strict touch when it comes to watering. It’s best to err on the side of less-is-more. These are resilient plants, accustomed to the unreliable moisture of the desert. Most unsuccessful attempts at keeping them are due to poor lighting and over-watering. When in doubt, leave it out.

When happy, their leaves are plump with water, thick and bulbous and more than apt for their ‘succulent’ moniker. They are the embodiment of life. A defiance of the death so prevalent in the desert. An oasis in the barren and windy Minneapolis landscape.

While they are not known for their flashy flowers, their foliage occasionally comes in rosettes, the leaves forming their own sort of bloom.

If it’s flashy you want, look no further than the hibiscus. Boom. Flash. Sizzle.

Suddenly the day explodes. The walk to the Walker is almost complete…

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