Monthly Archives: January 2015

January is a long month of cold temperatures and over cast days and I thought it was a good time for a flower story.

This is one of many short stories I have written about the flowers and it takes place on a magical Island called, “Laurels”.

Snapdragon

High above the lush green valleys stands the stony mountain of Lair. Here the rocks are step and upright, yet clinging in the cracks and crevasses are thousands of alpine flowers that help to transform this difficult area into a magical place. This is where the dragon of Laurel lives and it is here that our legend begins.

A dragon’s lair is a place of great wonder, for dragons are known to collect all things that shimmer and shine. Great hordes of treasures and trash are collected here. A great horde makes for a mighty dragon.

This lair was filled with golden candle sticks and chairs of gold guilt, dishes of silver and diamonds and jewels so vast that they set the whole of the lair aglow with the most wonderful colors. This was truly a most mighty dragon.

It has been recorded that dragons live to the age of five hundred years and over those years his main job is to collect his weight in wealth. The dragon of Laurels has done his job very well in deed.

He knew his days where growing near to an end and he worried about his many treasures day and night. He wanted no other young dragon to take his lives work from him, and on this matter he worried often.

One morning the dragon woke from a dream, in this dream he saw himself as a younger dragon again, and after much thinking on the matter decided that all he had to do was to give away some of his precious treasure. That if he did this good deed he would be given a new lease on life.

This is a very hard thing for a dragon to do, because by nature dragons are greedy and always presume everyone is out to take what they have.

This dragon was truly the greediest of all and smart too, he figured that if he gave just a few of his small treasures away that it would not only allow him to live another five hundred years, but would also make room for more treasure for his lair, this made for a very happy dragon!

Thus the dragon of Laurel’s Lair Mountain filled a great sack with the smallest of his treasured jewels of every color, and decided to hide them about the island thinking no one would find them spread so far and wide. As each jewel snapped from the greedy tight grip of the dragon, they fell to the ground like great hail. Where each jewel landed an unusual flower sprang from the soil marking its hiding place and its color.

The good people of Laurel where so taken by these keepers of the jewel flower, that they named them after the giver, the Snapdragon.

The snapdragon flowers have fell into many a greedy hand, but when the greedy person holds on to tight the dragon shaped flower head snaps open and the true colors are on display for all to see.

A thought; Often from strange places and under even stranger circumstances beautiful gifts can come to us.

The temperature outside is around 2 degrees on this blustery January morning, although the sun is out the wind chill is about 10 degrees below. I guess there will be no outside gardening today, so this is a good day to read and to write. Finding the sunniest spot in the house which is the sofa in the parlor was my first mission.

With a 8 foot palm tree over my head I imagine myself on some private island in the Caribbean where the flowers are in full bloom, the temps in the 70’s and a soft sea breeze rustles through the palms. But as I am not in that location, reality sets in and as I look about me, I see that I have created a sort of oases of my own. I have orchid plants and ferns in the bay window and a 8 foot palm here behind the sofa. That alone gave me a feeling of warmth.

About 12 years ago I purchased this palm – Phoenix roebelenii ( Dwarf Date Palm ) at about a 3 foot height at Home Depot, because I was using it for a one season plant as a center plant in one of the pool side displays, thinking it would give a great island feel, plus the price was right for that purpose. The palm did well and looked so good all that summer that the thought, letting it freeze wasn’t to happen, then it became one of those plants that did so well that even the thought of letting it go was out of the question. Well needless to say 12 years later the palm is 8 foot tall and our ceiling are the same. I read that the maximum height of these palms are 10 feet. So either we make it fit or we cut a hole in the ceiling, and that is something I would think about, but my wife Jan probably would frown upon.

Taking plants in to the home or greenhouse is something we must do in the northern hemisphere if we are to keep our gardening sanity, just to have some growing green and flowers around us helps to occupy our thoughts and gives us something to care for. Just remember don’t over water and feed moderately and give as much light as you can to them and most plants will come through the winter months well.

It was the Victorian that first brought the palms to the parlor because of their beauty and grace and ease of care with low light tolerance. I must say that the 12 years our palm has been with us, other than feeding and one repotting because of their small root system it has been one of the easiest plants I have ever had. Not to mention the warm memories it brings to the cottage.

So I’m thinking tonight some candles, colorful fruit drinks with little umbrellas, Island music and thoughts of where I should be, right here on my own tropical island in Acorn Cottage.

A thought; If its not the right palm, it may not be for the parlor.