There is a wantonness to flowers in England—purple rhododendron, spilling like lavender sunlight through the shadows of forest; freckled pink foxglove towering over my head; passionflowers in improbable primary colors decorating a fence like something a child crayoned. In the forests in Scotland, blue bells spread a mist over the ground beneath the trees. Poppies seduced me at Sissinghurst, red poppies blooming in sturdy delicate fleeting spectacularity, petals like wrinkled silk stained with blots of black ink, the stamens like sea creatures, waving in the breeze. I grew drunk on flowers–simple petunias, twice or three times the size they are in my garden, impious wisteria dangling from trees and arches and gates, whorish roses opening themselves in reckless abandon to all comers–bees and butterflies all to plunder that nectar.
Everywhere flowers—in a ditch and a vase and outside the chip shop. I would never do anything but garden in such a climate, which I suppose means it’s a good thing I was born in Colorado, where one must whisper sweet nothings to coax things to life. I am quite good at it, but there…oh, I would be lost, that’s all. Never another book again as long as I lived, only flowers and flowers and flowers.
One thought on “The Wantonness of English flowers”
Please stay in Colorado to do your gardening, I wouldn’t like to think of no more Barbara Samuel books!