Saturday, June 4, 2011

My Favorite Flowers

I grew up in the South, and there are many, many things I miss about home that just doesn't fare well here in the Midwest.

Southern Magnolias, for one. I adore those big majestic trees. I love the lemony-scent of the large white flowers and the glossy large leaves that stay beautiful year round. There was a large magnolia at my great-grandmother's house, and I think of that tree often. I dream of having a large home with a wrap-around porch and a long driveway lined with these trees . . . *sigh*. There are a few of these trees around my town, but they are small, and scrawny, and nothing like they are at home. They just can't take the winters here.

My favorite flower is and has always been the daffodil. I love the heartiness of these flowers. Plant the bulb, and with little to no care, they would pop up each year. I can remember a field across from our home that was loaded with pecan trees (yet another thing I could go on and on about *bliss* - and that's pronounced "pah-con" rather than "pee-can" in my book). There were houses on the property many, many years ago - long since gone, however, every year the place would be littered with daffodils. What a welcoming sign for the coming Spring months - beautiful and fragrant and bright. There's no way you could see a vase full of daffodils and be sad . . . they're just too pretty, too perky, too lovely!

And then . . . I moved to the Midwest. And let me tell you . . . I discovered peonies - just as hearty as the daffodil and wonderfully fragrant as well. Peonies need those long cold winter months in order to flower, so safe-to-say, we didn't see these down South. I never even knew what these flowers were until I saw some in our neighbor's yard, but I've been a convert ever since. They are showy with their big, beautiful blossoms. They come back every year like clockwork (always around Mother's Day), and the scent fills our small home with the sweetest aroma every year. These babies look amazing in a vase - filling the inside and then spilling over the sides, and they make a beautiful bouquet.


Whereas the Daffodil is the super-chipper, happy-go-lucky little sister, the Peony is the more mature, robust, romantic and dramatic big sister. I love them both, and I think they unite my two sides as well . . . the Southern roots that I cling to and the Midwestern life that I've happily chosen.

So yes, there are many, many things that I miss about the South, but these little gems here are just one of the many reasons that I love the Midwest.

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