Flowers For Mental Health

Today I took a bouquet of flowers to work with me. Normally, I don’t pick bouquets for myself. With my weekly subscription service, I have so many bouquets to make each week that at the end of a long day, the thought of making one more just doesn’t cut it. But with things slowing down, I found the time last night to wander through the garden and clip a fistful of bright blooms for myself. It’s a well-known fact that having flowers around is good for one’s mental health. After this tumultuous week in the stock market, my life savings tanking by 25%, and political arguments abounding within my family, I was sorely in need of something.

Those flowers that are left this time of year are particularly vivid. Tithonia (Mexican sunflower) is my favorite. Its iridescent orange sets off every other color. Snaps are making their second appearance of the season, and I picked some velvety maroon ones. The color and texture reminds me of a little girl in a holiday party dress. The snaps contrasted nicely with magenta Alma Potschke asters, so I clipped a few of those. Rudbeckia Indian summer is still going strong too. These bright golden black-eyed Susans are a workhorse in my garden because they self seed and produce new plants all season long that grow and mature at varying stages. So there is always rudbeckia to pick in my garden, it seems. Last week I spent some time moving some of the younger volunteers into rows for orderly production next spring and appreciated their reassuring promise of things to come.

Candleabra sage, in both pink and deep violet, red zinnias and cosmos rounded out the bunch. It was quite a colorful sight. As I stood in my shed stripping the stems and placing them into the vase, dusk was falling. I carried the vase up the stairs and into the kitchen, and literally drank in the color in the bright light.

As I drove to work this morning, the bouquet nodding on the seat beside me, I noticed how the reds are peaking on the trees along M-22. I thought about how flowers and trees, in all their brilliance and flaming color, make their last stand this time of year. As if to shout, “Don’t take me for granted…it’s almost over!” It’s a silent but powerful message. And a great reminder to revel in the beauty that surrounds us now.

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