It finally arrived. The day I’ve dreamt about for the past six months. The moment you whisk through the doors of a plastic-encased shrine to all things budding and blooming. The warm smell of fragrant, green-leafed humidity and rich, perlite-dotted soil envelopes you immediately, fanned around you lightly by huge metal blades whisping slowly at the other end of this inverted half-pipe of flora and fauna. An array of pots beckoning you, enticing you with bright colors, textures and opportunities and the unequivocal instant emotion of hopeful inspiration.
There is just nothing quite like that first deep breath of the summer season inhaled in a greenhouse. That moment when all things seem possible, even the deep burgundy-robed miniature calla lily hidden in the corner, out of sight of its much humbler Zone 4 flowering neighbors. Who’s to say how its exotic beauty even made it close to this place, with delicate blooms not well suited for Colorado’s cool nights and short summers. Maybe it hitchhiked, escaping its hot, humid home, catching a free ride with a delivery van undiscovered, destination unknown. But somehow, at that moment, even this tropical variety seems do-able.
The possibilities are endless. As are the trips up and down the aisles. Slowly surveying the wondrous displays of seeds, turned seedlings, thinned and transplanted, fed and fertilized until robust, with blooms stretched upward as if arms waving at you boldly, saying “Pick me! Pick me!”
And the competition is stiff. Pinks, yellows, reds, purple, orange and even blue. Tall, short, bold, delicate. The bright eyes of the almost-neon-bright geraniums follow you carefully up and down the aisles, the queens of potted annuals keeping a close eye on their rows of supporting actors. The sweet, faces of pansies smiling innocently, nodding at you as you pass.
Bright marigolds, uncurling their ruffled arms, laughing happily in deep oranges and yellows.
White bacopa and periwinkle lobelia trail down their pots, following you, begging you to take them with you.
As I scoured the rows over and over today, not so much undecided as simply admiring the beauty, the fragrance and the first of this summer’s blooming bounty, a light mist of small raindrops began tinkling lightly upon the clear plastic roof over us. Summer’s first sweet orchestra, playing gently and rhythmically, lulling me to wish I could sleep if just for a moment in this perfect place among the flowers, awakening later to their fragrant harmonies of color and the scent of freshly fallen rain.
But today, the afternoon will have to be enough. I will leave what remains in the care of the fluttering butterflies and sphinx moths, carefully wafting from one flower to the next.
May you enjoy the first of summer’s blessings and embrace the hope of the nearly endless possibilities it offers.