Posts Tagged ‘Moonflower’

My First Moonflower (Datura)

Often the life of a gardner consists of a regimen of never-ending chores — water the plants, look out for pests, kill or repel insect pests and diseases (non-toxic-chemically, of course), set up trellises, construct cat (and other varmint) fences to keep the critters from either using your veggie beds as a litter box or a banquet, depending on the critter, repair things, clean up things, etc., etc. Us hard-core gardeners do it because we love our gardens, and even, perhaps masochistically, because we love the laborious work entailed.

But one of the pleasures of gardening comes when our little babies bloom. And while we thrill to any of our little babies blooming, there is sometimes an extra-special blessing that awaits us when they do. And that extra-special blessing happened to me the other night when my first moonflower, my Datura from Natural Gardener, opened up its first blossom.

I was lingering for a while in the garden that evening, surveying my drastic, surgical removal of the many powdery-mildewed infested branches on my huge sage plant. Had to be done, but always more painful for the gardening parent that for the plant child. I mean, I reduced these big, beautiful branches to nothing less than a puny little shrub, but it was indeed covered in powdery mildew that was beginning to infest other plants, like my giant Mexican coneflower. So I’d spent probably over an hour cutting it down to a much smaller version of what it was.

After I finished, I was standing there surveying it, when I looked over at my Datura. When I’d bought it the previous week, it had one bud on it, and all week it had been slowly maturing. It looked like it was almost ready to open up, but I figured it would be the next night when it did. I’d been hoping all along that I would be around when it was open, but you can never know for certain with something like this. I decided to walk over to it to look at it, and I thought to myself,  “I wonder when it is going to open?”

Just then, as if to answer me, it suddenly sprang open, right in front of my eyes! I gasped, and then stared at it in wonder as it continued to open up wider and wider. I was so amazed. I ran in and grabbed my camera and took what seemed like a million pictures. Probably the only thing I can compare it to is that it was like watching your baby walk for the first time, except this baby never fell, it just kept going until it was wide open. And it was the first blossom of my first Datura moonflower, ever, and I’d been waiting for this moment since I first read about moonflowers in Scott Ogden’s book, The Moonlit Garden, and since I’d first experienced the Datura at Leb Shomea. Here was my own, beautiful, perfect moonflower, and it opened up, just for me!

After photographing it, I sat on this tiny little gardening stool that my uncle and his second wife had given me a couple of Christmases ago. It was just the perfect height for me to look at the moonflower. I gazed at the moonflower for probably close to an hour, just feeling so blessed that it had opened up for me, so surprised that it had, so pleased by its ivory beauty, breathing in its heavenly scent. I half expected the cicadas to start their evening call to prayer like they did at Leb Shomea last summer, but I guess it’s not time for them yet here in Austin. In any case, it was like the Divine gently reminding me of her love for me, which I often need reminding of. Such a beautiful reminder too.

I wished I could have stayed with it longer, but there were a million things for me to do before going to bed. It’s hard sometimes to stay present with a blessing like this when these things that your mind thinks must be done are marching around in the back of your head, but I did my best to stay present with this beautiful little gift. When it was time to go in, I bowed several times to the moonflower blossom and plant, thanking them profusely for this gift. It was truly a gift of grace, and one I hope lingers in my memory forever.




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