When I was a child my mother kept beautiful, lush flowers alive throughout the year despite Florida's treterous heat and humidity. One of the most prominent memories I have of the flowers in my life, surprisingly, wasn't ones that my mother cared for. In the mornings when I'd walk to the car to be driven to school, sometimes I'd smell gardenias. She never grew them and the tree we had that towered over our house didn't bloom them (since they're shrubs). My family would tell me it's a sign that we're going in the right direction, that a guardian angel was guiding us along down the correct path. To this day, although I don't tend to any flowers and I've since moved out of my mother's house, I every so often smell gardenias and feel peace overwhelm me. In that moment I know that I'm supposed to be there.
Yes! But also no! Young sunflowers follow the sun from East to West. This is called heliotropism. Daisies also do heliotropism, but they close their petals at night. As the sunflowers mature and their budding stage is near the end, they face east for the rest of their life. At our local library they used to plant sunflowers in the front, but as quarentine came and went, so did the sunflowers. They planted other things in the flowerbed. Now the only place I can really find sunflowers is at our local park! It's not a normal park with a swing and jungle gym, it's a park with benches, a gazeebo, and many many flowerbeds blooming different types of flora.
Coming home at 4pm to making sure my venus flytrap was fed aways felt so wonderful. It was like having a low maintenance pet. Seeing the cluster of flytraps in their own pot made my heart overflow with joy, seeing all of my hungry babies. They were all so special and I wish to this day I still had one. At our local grocery store they sell venus flytraps and every time I visit I feel an overwhelming sense of nostalgia and curiosity. Carniverous plants always made me happy.
Recently (as of July 20th, 2023) I have been trying my hand at raising monarch butterflies on my front porch. Learning that monarch butterflies are on the rapid decline has broken my heart. There's no reason that any creature should suffer extinction, especially due to humans wanting a blemish free lawn or lot. Milkweed is the ONLY plant monarch butterflies will lay eggs on because the larva can ONLY eat milkweed. Yesterday, August 3rd, 2023, one of the caterpillars I had been raising has created their chrysalis. The other one is about to create theirs soon. Below, I'll provide pictures of my little guys on their journey. Due to the sturdy meshing, I haven't been able to get good pictures of the chrysalis yet, but trust me the gold lining of Peanut Butter's chrysalis is beautiful. Click on Peanut Butter to be taken to my informative page on how to take care of milkweeds and monarch caterpillars.