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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Happy Stuff--Epiphyllum

I’ve been on birth watch for several weeks now. Birth of Epiphyllum blossoms, not a baby. Babies are wonderful, too, of course! But today I’m here to coo over my first Epi blossom of the season.

I was given this Epi plant by Don, a neighbor who loves Epis, owns hundreds of them, and has created hybrids through grafting. Don told me that it would take a few years for my new Epis to produce a lot of blossoms. Yikes. It would be hard to wait but I had no choice. And life got extra busy a few years ago so I was hardly sitting around, waiting to flip calendar pages.

A few months ago I noticed tiny buds popping out of my biggest Epi plant, the one Don gave me. The buds were very small, the size of a grain of rice. But they were there, and I was excited! I watched as they doubled in size, almost overnight. After a month the buds were the size of a grape.

They continued to grow…

After two months some were as long as my thumb.

By this week the buds were nearly three months old, and I knew big changes were on the way. I watched each day as the closed peak of petals pushed out further.
By yesterday I could tell that birth watch was on and I called all the relatives. Just kidding. I know they might not be quite as obsessed as I am with Epi growth. But if you are a lover of plants, the magic moment when the first one blooms is like Christmas morning to a 6-year-old.

This morning was the big day. My first blossom has bloomed, the petals half-opened in a cup of pale pink. They will continue to open in the next day or two. Others will join in, adding to the wonder. There are fifteen buds on this plant, so I’m in for a Spring full of blossoms. I did have to wait three years for this plant to hit its stride, but it’s worth it. I’m enjoying it immensely.

Gardening is good for the soul in so many ways. And it teaches patience. In our lightening-speed world of 2014, we are addicted to immediate results. We want the fastest available connection to the Internet. We love convenience. We tap our foot impatiently as the microwave takes—gasp!—two whole minutes to heat water. But gardening cannot be rushed. Flowers are the prize for those who wait patiently, who marvel at every slow stage of growth, who understand that this can’t be rushed, and that because we have to wait, we’ll appreciate it so much more when our flowers finally bloom.

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