February, the month of love and, at least in northern climes, short, cold days, is the perfect time to develop an intimacy with Flora.
Flora comes in many shapes,
and dresses in a multitude of colors and styles.
Flora might be just a passing fancy,
could become a steadfast friend,
or potentially develop into a life-long love,
but you won’t know unless you take the time to cultivate an intimacy with Flora.
Flora is available to just about anyone. With aliases like Sweet William, Rose, Iris, Heather, Johnny Jump-Up, and Golden Alexander, Flora is not gender-specific. Just steer clear of Flora Brown, the neighbor lady down the street … I hear she’s already taken.
It’s always a good idea to do a bit of research before asking for an introduction. If you know the alias Flora is using, an Internet search is a good place to start learning your Flora’s traits. If your Flora goes by many names or proves difficult to positively identify, consider tapping into the knowledge of your local garden center or do some sleuthing at the local library … both should have books filled with Flora-type line-ups to help you learn your Flora’s true, botanical name.
Once you know your Flora’s name then learn all you can – the good and the bad – about this object of your affection. Will your Flora take to the climate your home offers, whether inside or out, or require special protection or care that you may not be able to provide? Will your Flora get along with the rest of your family (human, animal, and plant) or cause angst, allergies or become a bully? What type of character will your Flora attract to your garden – beneficial insects, unwelcome deer or rodents, birds?
Because of the characteristics of your environment and your Flora’s needs, you may have to settle with admiration from afar through botanical garden visits, or you may simply have to accept a short-term affair, relishing your Flora’s fleeting beauty knowing full well you will toss it aside once it’s flowers fade.
As with any relationship, you should go in with your eyes wide open, accepting the good with the bad. A low-maintenance Flora may ease into your life with little disruption, while a high-maintenance Flora could become nothing but a chore.
With such a vast selection of Flora, there’s bound to be at least one you’d like to get to know better. If you are still seeking the Flora of your dreams, scroll through the You Can Grow That! posts from the 4th of each month. At the urging of C.L. Fornari, at Whole Life Gardening, garden bloggers across the world write of the benefits, the love, and the ease of gardening. So, take a vow … in February cultivate an intimacy with Flora.