Today’s Treasure

The first California poppy of the season!

One poppy does not make a poppy field, but it’s a start, right? I never particularly liked these small poppies, having grown up with the large red floppy-petaled poppies, but after my visit several years ago to the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve, I developed a fondness for the smaller flower. In massive numbers, they look like a sunset fallen to earth, and oh, it sure was something to see.

I won’t be able to duplicate those fields of color, of course, but since the plants seem to do well here (and no wonder, the two climates — the high prairie of Colorado and the high desert of California — are similar) I should be able to create small patches of a blooming sunset.

But that’s for the future. Today is about enjoying the first poppy of the season as well as the first dwarf snapdragon, another of the seeds in the wildflower mix I planted last December. When they say dwarf, they mean it. These flowers are tiny — no bigger than a bee (hence the rather blurry photo). If they weren’t part of the mixture, I wouldn’t have been interested in planting such small flowers. They don’t really add much color to the yard, but since they are an annual, it doesn’t really matter. I’ll enjoy them this year, assuming, of course, I can see them.

The first bellflowers, another flower from the wildflower mix, have also bloomed. Not as big as a poppy. Not as small as a dwarf snapdragon. But so pretty. Maybe I could do a whole patch of these, too.

This ice plant wasn’t part of the wildflower mix; it was something I bought last year just because I liked the name. (Supposedly, it’s called an ice plant because it shimmers like ice.)

As if being able to see all these flowers poke their pretty faces up to the sun isn’t treat enough, today a friend stopped by to take a tour of my yard. I enjoyed showing the things I have done, the things my contractor did, and the things nature did. Somehow, it all works together to make something special. She’s been watching my garden take hold over the years, so it was fun seeing it through her eyes.

The yard was especially pretty today. I’d mowed this morning, so the lawn was nicely manicured, and the larkspur were at their peak. It won’t be long before the larkspur grows too tall and top heavy, so it would behoove me to get garden stakes if I don’t want a leaning garden. (That happened last year. The winds caused the plants to grow slantwise.)

So, those are the treasures of this day. I can hardly wait to see what treasures tomorrow will bring.

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Pat Bertram is the author of intriguing fiction and insightful works of grief.