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Intricate Patterns Offer Sense Of Order

Zinnia bicolor

As the gardening season winds down for the year, I find myself staring hard at individual plants to imprint them in my memory. It is like waving goodbye to friends who will be gone for an extended time.

Until recently the big lemon-yellow marigolds were making my garden shine. Each flower had so many petals closely arranged in layers making the surface look ruffled. The greenish tinge on the petals in the center of each flower always intrigues me and how very complex each flower is.

When I started my flower garden many years ago I was dismissive of marigolds, and I thought they were such ordinary flowers, as one sees them everywhere. Now I know why they are everywhere; it is because they are such forgiving plants to grow. So now I embrace them like close relatives who have a special place in my heart.

I also love the tissue paper texture of flowers in the mallow family. The small flowers of the cultivar ‘Zebrina' have maroon veining in patterns that are almost intoxicating to look at. And the arrangement of the petals on the flowers of zinnias reminds me of my desire for more order in my life.

During the busy gardening season, I spend so much time outdoors that order often eludes me inside my house. But when I look at flowers that have many petals that are perfectly ordered it helps me feel more composed, even though I have a cluttered office. The flowers that soon will just be memories had varied designs and patterns, but each was perfect in its own way.

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