People in the horticultural business have a saying: Color sells. By color, they mean the flowers, and they’re saying that a plant in bloom sells best. Many customers choose their landscaping when the plants are blossoming… when they’re shopping, they go for the flowers first.
Although this tendency insures that the right flower color is chosen, it can be problematic. The plant you’ve fallen for may not be reliably hardy where you live, it might not look good after flowering, or it could be in bloom for a mere week or two.
Choosing a plant based on the flowers alone can lead to a garden that only looks good for a shot period of time. You might end up with a landscape that’s filled with small green leaves for most of the year. Forget the flowers…if you want a garden that is beautiful throughout the year, consider the foliage first.
Thinking about the leaves isn’t just a good design decision. Considering the foliage focuses attention and respect on one of the elements that keep plants alive. The leaves are the food factories for the plant; in order to bloom the plant needs the energy that the leaves produce.
It’s easy to get seduced by beautiful flowers, in and out of the garden. Life’s flowers, our high points and peak experiences, can be so wonderful that we long for more. Being newly in love, enjoying an incredibly delicious meal, or totally feeling God’s loving presence, are just a few examples of life’s “flowers”.
It’s as easy to want those special times to be prolonged as it is to desire a garden that is constantly blooming. We get so distracted by the flowers that we forget about the foliage that sustains it all.
What support systems do you have that nourish you, and help life’s flowers to develop and blossom? How is your energy replenished, and what sustains you and allows life’s plants to grow?