Branching Out

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Nature / Neighbors / Social Life

There aren’t any petunias this year.

Word began spreading yesterday, shortly after the flats of flowers were delivered for today’s Flower Power event. It was against the rules to take a flat ahead of time, or to stake a claim in any way. But no one said we couldn’t go look over the selection of flowers. Those who did came back with the surprising news.

There aren’t any petunias this year.

Like everything else in our community, Flower Power has grown a lot since it began. Three years ago, our sales team of Carol and Kathy came up with the idea of giving a free flat of annuals to all residents to plant around their homes. Each year, Carol and Kathy also organize a brunch potluck in conjunction with the flower giveaway.

Our thanks go to Jamie and Wilcox Communities, which, this year, purchased $700 worth of flowers for our expanding group of homeowners. Granted, all of those flowers make for a more beautiful community, which could help sales, but still, it is a very generous thing to do.

Here are some of the happy homeowners with their flowers.

owners&flowers

Each spring, our newer residents ask us old-timers about Flower Power. They always want to know what kinds of flowers will be available. We tell them that the majority of  flats will be petunias of various colors, along an assortment of other annuals.

So it was quite a surprise to learn that there were no petunias this year.

I have to admit, I was worried about coming up with a Plan B for my flower beds. Usually, I choose a flat of purple or pink petunias – maybe with white stripes, maybe not — and mix in some white geraniums that I buy on my own. That’s it. Done with my planting.

But this year, I would be forced to branch out, to have an open mind. Maybe even to read the tags stuck in with the flowers. My only requirement, I decided, would be plants that do well in full sun. As I looked over the variety of flowers, the deep, rich colors of an unfamiliar bloom caught my eye. Jewel Box Mix Celosia, the tag read. Full sun.

Decision made. I hurried home with my treasure and, within minutes, was planting. It was hot in the full sun, but now that the sky is darkening with the threat of rain, I’m glad I did it.

And I’m happy about other things as well. I’m glad I didn’t hear anyone complain about the lack of petunias. I’m glad I have some hard-working neighbors who are planting the beds in front of our clubhouse, the large containers in our pool area, and a row in our garden.

Perhaps most of all, I’m glad I was forced to leave my comfort zone of petunias and to try something new. I hope I will carry the lesson a step farther and push my comfort zone in others areas of my life too.

Ah, the Power of Flowers.

celosia2celosia1celosia3celosia bed

 

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