Snapdragons and Resilience

snapdragons

For me snapdragon flowers have become the flower for 2020. On an unexpected warm spring-like day in November in Canada, they continue to inspire.

In the fall of 2019, I first discovered the apiaries at a nearby community college. Honey produced there may have originated in bees visiting my own garden. The fact that I had maintained a pesticide-free pollinator friendly garden may have made a real difference for honeybees.

In the dark days of late December in Canada, I was clearing leaves when I noticed something unusual. Many snapdragon stems had new green leaves growing from the bottom. The plants had been insulated by snow covered leaves and the roots were being lulled back to life by the unseasonably warm weather. In Canada, I did not expect to find green annual flowers outside in one of the coldest months of the year.

In the early spring, I decided that I would have another zero-budget gardening year. Although I could afford to buy some plants, I was not convinced that I could deal with crowds in newly reopened stores. My infrequent masked forays into the grocery store had been less than relaxing. The garden took care of seeding itself. Sweet Williams and Blackeyed Susans appeared as did many snapdragon seedlings.

By late June, the front garden was bursting with the beautiful blooms including snapdragon flowers. With hues ranging from ivory, pink, white to burgundy, there were also stunning snapdragons in hybrid colours. The flowers, both dwarf and full-size, also had variations in leaves.

As I tended the garden in the summer, people would pass buy on their daily walks. Many families were heading to the park and walking trails at the park across the street. I would often overhear comments about the beautiful flowers. My garden was not only inspiring me, but others.

Yesterday we received the gift of beautiful spring-like weather in November. I decided to head back out to the garden to do some clean up. It had been cold the previous weekend including frost and a dusting of snow.  Although some of the snapdragon blooms were a bit droopy, I was amazed to see that a lot of bees were still visiting the flowers and that nicer blooms were forming on the still-thriving plants. My next-door neighbour begged me not to clear out the flowers. Her less-hardy impatiens are done and she loves the hardy snapdragons.

My beautiful resilient snapdragon flowers remain. Of them, the most precious is one I discovered still green last December. It survived the winter and grew. It is a lovely light pink. It has more blooms on the way to help sustain the still visiting bees. I have hope that I will greet it again come spring.

The snapdragon’s ability to grow in difficult places made it a symbol of strength. Many sent these flowers to express resilience. They were also sent to help embolden those facing difficulties in their lives. flowerglossary.com

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