Years ago I worked as a traveling photographer driving to various cities in California and Oregon. Before or after my assignments I'd go to the local nurseries just to look at the plants. I'd stroll up and down the aisles soaking up the colors, shapes, and fragrances of the various plants. Sometimes I'd take my hand and lightly brush against the foliage of a plant I found interesting. If I saw a plant I didn't recognize I'd read the label and think about how the plant would fit into the landscape. Oh how I loved visiting nurseries just to be close to all the different plants.
Before that job I worked as a landscape contractor and I studied and used plants from that perspective. I'd search for just the right plant for a particular spot in urban and country gardens. I particularly liked finding a little used plant which might make the landscape design even more interesting. There were always the challenges of finding a plant which needed shade or sun or one that didn't grow too tall, or perhaps didn't need much water. And yet there were always several choices I could find to fit any location or style of garden. Years after designing a landscape I was always amazed at how the plants rewarded the owners by enhancing their surroundings.
Still earlier in time when I worked in various office settings, I'd walk to parks at the noon hour and eat my lunch on a bench just to be surrounded by some greenery. It struck me as almost a miracle how the plants could survive in what seemed such a harsh environment. Tall buildings were blocking the sun, and concrete and asphalt pavings covered much of the ground around them. On weekends I'd visit botanical gardens and arboretums admiring plants from different parts of the world. All over the world the plants made the earth a better place to live.
As a young child playing out of doors I'd have my imaginary tea parties and serve oaxalis on small aluminum plates to my brothers and sister. I'm not sure how I knew the plant wasn't poisonous, especially since it was so sour to eat, but I just knew. I'd hike in the woods surveying the shrubs and flowering plants growing in the different seasons. One year I remember I admired the lowly violet and brought one home to pot up in the Autumn. I put the plant in a window sill and it rewarded me by out growing it's container many times over. I had to divide it constantly over the winter. By Spring every window sill was filled and my mother told me we'd have to start giving the plants away.
Today I was going to tell you about a few more herbs I purchased to put in my garden; guess I'll save that for another time. Somehow I started thinking about my love of plants and how they've rewarded me through the years and just had to tell you about that. They've provided me with relaxation, food, medicines, perfumes, shade, beauty, and more. I never really thought about how much I've received from the plant kingdom throughout my life. So today I'm paying homage with this ode to the plant kingdom. The photos you see here are plants I've grown and admired over the years. Strange they're all purple, even the violet and wood sorrel have purple flowers. I do love the color purple. I can't imagine a world without plants surrounding me, can you?