Before she knew it, the warmth of summer had rolled around again. She had missed it. She usually does, yet it's arrival this time felt particularly comforting. Her renewed sense of purpose was invigorating. Splashes of colour lay on a palette; the subtle melding of a rainbow. A vase looked like clay had been squished with a fist. Reaching magenta petals dotted the backdrop. Her eyes drank in the details. It had to be the vibrant dandelions which she spotted first. They shimmied on the table, with tinsel-like blooms picking up the sun rays.
The geranium leaves waved hello, with roots ready to sink into the wood. Nature had spray-painted them with a soft arch of dark green. She imagined how they would span and fan out larger, with trademark coral flowers coming through. Sprinkles of the earth were scattered around, ready to accommodate this growth. Next to them, a solitary leaf sat in a small vessel. It felt complete as an entity. How it stood proudly, regardless of who would notice it amongst the rest of the surrounding splendour. It was harmoniously in sync with all.
Lots of little empty vessels were poised as sculptural objects, excited to have nature drape from within. They wondered if it would be fruits, flowers or straight-up foliage. The pineapple bent its ear to hear what the dandelions had to say. They spoke of summer days and feeling light. Light-hearted and drifting, as the soft breeze would come to lift them. They would graciously accept this different form. Tiny, fluffy seeds would carry ideas into new soils to root. Even so, they were content to be in their splendid state of shine, right now.
She glanced from above, to appreciate all from a bird's eye view. From this angle, the pots looked like an abundance of eyes looking back at her, pupils diving deep into her thoughts. The geometric nature of the agavoid entranced her. It's symmetrical leaves were a plant dream-catcher, capturing anything that didn't enlighten her. The patterns were in harmony with that of the universe. She thought about her dreams and all around her that felt out of reach, yet in her minds eye, it was more than real. It was possible. It was happening.
She pondered on how the dandelion came to gain its name and how the leaves apparently resembled the teeth of a lion. Dent-de-lion. They really ought to have given some credit to the sunny sparklers atop the stem too. Her glance fell upon the blooms to their left and she smiled. Her much loved callas had come to say hello. They were welcome to do so at any time. The crassula ovata beamed, with sunset yellow lining the leaves. Left to sit in the sun longer, the brightness would become more prominent. She knew about that.
The glaucous leaves of the echeveria fanned out from the glossy blue vessel. Bright pink roses sang a melody to the chrysanthemums. It was a flower party and there was a lot to be said. Foliage felt like the mutual friends that knew everyone, flitting between the entire scene. Myriad succulents filled the terrarium on the table. The striped haworthia was definitely one of her favourites. Her eyes gazed along the miniature carpet of sempervivum within the wooden vessel. The blending of deep red and green buds was a delight to see.
The interactions between all pleased her. A friendliness hummed. She felt like talking to the roses. She'd heard from the the callas many a time and they directed her this way. She wanted a different perspective on life. They stood elegantly on their strong stems, welcoming and down to earth. They had a way of leaning into any conversation with grace. It was a soothing chat about nurturing velvet petals and unravelling vivid skies, so that they'd wrap around her. She was more than capable of bringing everything she wanted to the table.
She loved spending time in the garden. All those seeds the size of dust had potential to sprout into grand beauties. Flecks of hope and potential, she mused. Her finger gently brushed a spot of the earth, creating a minuscule crater. She held the tiny dots in her palm and carefully dropped them in. A quick covering over, in case the wind had other ideas and her dreams were embedded. There was real scope to root. Purple blazing stars sparked into life. Watery ink seeped through the paper-like pansies and an ochre dot painted the centre.
Petite petals looked like little paper hearts affixed with a pin. She could hold one stem in her hand, blow and watch it twirl in a pinwheel motion. Hydrangeas looked glorious in all shades, from soft pinks to rich blues. The pansies made another appearance in vibrant yellows and purples. These alluring colours continued to draw her in. Beautiful orange ruffles gathered as though they were shaved from the orange sun itself. She found herself becoming fascinated by the variety of different marigolds there were in the world.
'She walked round and felt as though someone had left her a large gift box. She knelt down to appreciate the goodies within. Her eyes widened as she spotted those familiar callas, swirling away. Edges blended from a milky cream to a rich purple. That paintbrush had made its way around again and was dipped in white paint this time. Some carefree splattering had taken place, as the leaves were left with a terrazzo feel. Crinkly gladioli blooms sat stacked above one another, appreciating the refreshment of light rain.
She entered the fragrant corner, where stalks sat with tight French knots within the lavender tapestry. Her glance was captured by an abundance of wispy tendrils, which spun around the other lengths. Miniature sweet pea purses were filled with a captivating scent. They gladly opened their silk petals to share. She reached out to run her finger over the wavy edges, which responded by dancing around her touch. She imagined the stems continuing to grasp and grow, until the length of the wall was covered in a plethora of delicate buds.
Ixia flowers emerged alike white clams sprayed with a magenta core. The colour extended to a beam on the external petals too. There was a mesmerizing quality to them. Strawberry & cream-swirled dahlias looked too tempting not to try. She picked off a petal and relished in the sweetness of the flavours. A cluster of geranium petals burst into an expanse of coral forms. Gentle veining echoed in a deeper shade, like tributaries coursing through a sandy pink beach. She could sit and admire the richness of the hue for a while. So she did.
The foxgloves glowed in the evening sun. The circular patterning in their bells reminded her of paint she poured in layers. A network with tiny cells would magically occur as the liquid dispersed throughout the surface. She'd spent the day admiring the little details and soon registered the sun had set. Her focus shifted to white stars, ready to pierce the dusky evening. Shapes carved from mother of pearl sheets; just in time to dance with the moon. These moments in bloom made her feel simultaneously sedate and awoken.
Let's sail away, she thought and explore tuft islands. She'd heard so much. What was to be seen there? First, she had to pass the expanse of grey seas. They were as far reaching as she could see. Moments of carefree drifting took place. There wasn't anything else in sight for some time until up ahead, the silhouette of small mountains appeared. She must've been on the right track. As she edged closer, the small mounds came into view and even though she hadn't stepped onto soil yet, she appreciated how far she'd already come.
This was her chance to go somewhere with no expectations. These islands appeared to glide across the stone, ever drifting before her. After coursing the grey seas, it was only expected she should run into some thorny issues. A structure appeared to emerge from the stone itself; heaving brown beams studded with jagged edges. Nothing would deter her. She showed expert balance along it, weaving around the spiked protrusions. She really didn't need a wound which would inhibit the rest of her journey. She was just getting started...
No man is an island, so they say. These solo moments made her. She knew down the line, she'd be able to relish in the island being further inhabited, yet she was content with how it was now. It was important to focus on now. It was time to scale the structure. She placed her hand into the cracks and found a good grip. Climbing onto the wall, she found other grooves to nestle her foot into and propel herself up. She reached the top and took a deep breath. The roots of the floating islands dangled above her, swaying in the wind.
She stood on a slab dotted with multiple stones in shades of terracotta, grey and brown. She had conquered the branch so this should be a walk on the beach, It felt like it. The stones looked like they'd spent years underwater, being cut and shaped by the powerful waters. She ran her hand along the surface of the porous grey one. She imagined it homing life. If it was on a seabed, tiny fishes would bob their heads out of the little holes to see what the sea brought today. The seas brought her today. They let her arrive at a place of a new outlook.
She stepped out past the rocky field to find herself tangled in a mass of spindly branches. She wondered how she'd navigate her way through this one. A rocky surface looked like it had been eroded to its core over millennia. The inner red core resembled another galaxy. Tiny cream fragments were woven into the structure, like milky moon rocks. She leant against it, to shimmy her way through the confusion. Finally, she came into a clearing. Lime green shoots shot into the air, with yellow jolts acting as beacons in the sky.
She'd reached the last leg of her adventures for this day. Many summits had been reached. A final scaling of the precarious claw branch led to making it here. She carefully mounted the mossy overgrowth to become entwined in many saffron-hued stalks. The thin hairlike lengths featured an amber lantern at every end, illuminating the way to the top. It was time to relish. The zesty green leaves in the centre were perfect to hold on to as an anchor. She stood and gazed at the horizon. It was a moment to appreciate conquering mountains.
From deep within the earth they sprouted, elegantly spreading their symmetrical leaves into the sun. Citrine petals erupted like delicate flames licking the surrounding air. She felt like she was in a magical woodland; earthy flora and branches lay between her every step. So many splendorous orchids. She was surrounded by a flutter of soft florals. She imagined being enrobed in a dress of the buttery fleurs, radiating their carefree beauty. A stream gushed ahead, where she sat in a spot close by, listening to the falling water.
A cluster of yellow sparkles illuminated a corner, The frothy buds were at home near the driftwood and trickling water. Leafy domes had tiny buds shoot out from the surface, vying for the sunlight. Large paddled leaves built layers in the overgrowth, where calla lilies sat amongst them. Like conch shells in sandy earth, she could hear what they had to say wherever she went. Their antennae were always ready to tune in to nature's frequency. She found herself kneeling to observe curling petals, while taking in the gentle hum of all.
She came to a clearing to find a lovely vignette of flowerheads on long stalks, as though they'd been cross-stitched with velvet threads. Soft pink paillettes provided subtle colour in the verdant landscape. They provided nourishment; vitality in every way. On that note, she reached out to carefully pluck a bud. While it sat in her hand, she took a moment to wonder. What would it taste like? Slowly, she brought the petals to her lips. It fell into her mouth, began fizzing gently on her tongue and disappeared into a sugary sweetness.
A flaming orange branch sparked into life. It grew, continuing to twist and twist some more. She watched as a miniature phoenix sparked into motion, arms oscillating and getting ready to take flight. It's tail twirled into the air, grasping the sun in a way the long leaves hoped to, Thoughts of conquering new heights were real; there were many lands to see. Perched on the end of the stalk, the fledgling calmly braced itself. Without another moment's notice, it was free from all doubt, launching into new horizons with fiery wings.
A range of vivid pink petals had an ultraviolet touch. She was absorbed by the way they held the light, like mini beacons amidst the lime foliage. She was met with luscious orchids which looked as though they'd been marble dipped. Their motif began to swirl in front of her eyes. Next to them, little pots of fleurs were suspended on wooden beams. She imagined they must be the equivalent of a box of popcorn; perfect to grab and go for some carefree wondering. She decided to forego the tiny tub of treats on this occasion.
A menagerie of orchids came into her path. Candy colours of pastel yellow and peach climbed up the frame. She stepped within and looked at the sweet-like florals. She leant forward and carefully prised a petal. Again, it sat innocently in her palm. She picked up the flower and placed it on her tongue, The peach candy melted softly, seeping through her senses, with a similar feel to the first. Time for the yellow one. A vanilla taste was released and she was left feeling mellow. Talk about sedate. Small tokens of the serene.
She turned a corner to find a never-ending cascade of magenta orchids. They sprawled wholeheartedly through the ground. She thought about how they would be welcome to span across the entire sky. If she could use her finger as a wand, she'd touch a surface to have a flower bloom under it. She would trail her finger in the air to have a spell of flowers bloom magically in formation. One after the other, a meandering trail would be created; swirls and curls with one continuous move.
The flurry of white petals caught the sun like mother-of-pearl discs. She wondered how these ones tasted. Soon enough, she found out: milky slivers of the moon. She glanced to one side to find a .jungle of patterns. An array of slender lengths resembled seahorses with fuchsia splatters. The mottled scene also reminded her of curving coral; nodules pulsating at many a level. If she could miniaturize herself, she would walk through a forest of these splendid beams, with colourful bark arching way above her.
Photos taken at the National Orchid Garden, Singapore
Spring finally came around and she emerged from a place of comfort and calm. Her favourite treasures lay before her. She saw a table full of curiosities that she could hold in her palm, taking in the detail of each one. Vessels with soft clay moulded like frilly petals and orbs which could home miniature worlds. She imagined curled rose petals held within, surrounded by a swirling nectar. She'd delicately shake the sphere like a snow globe, watching the petals gently fall. A moment for reflection and then again, to relish in it once more.
Candy pink gerberas shot up, up, up to lean and relax. Poised in the air with ease. She traced her fingers along the petal edges. No time for 'loves me, loves me not' games here. She observed how the petal layers descended into a close-knit ring near the centre. The continuous hoop mirrored her undulating thoughts. Maybe she could put her thoughts in one of these vessels, to retrieve them later as necessary. Would she go back to some of them? Where they conducive in allowing her to build the dreams she had for herself?
Maybe some of those thoughts were better off withering into crinkled leaves, disintegrating into finite dust. She could take off the stopper from the bottle, tip it into her hand and gently blow away the crumbling remnants. She didn't want to dwell. She knew this was the season of rebirth and it was time to plant some more seeds. For fresh shoots to push on through. She thought about how in the dark of winter, she'd questioned whether the bare branches would ever burst into blossom buds again. Deep down, she knew they would.
A miniature tree was perched at an edge, poised with zen. She appreciated being able to fit it in her hand, channelling it's energy. Yet. she also considered what it would be like if the tree multiplied in scale. She would find it the size of a grand oak, with wiry branches curving to greet her with crystalline fruits. Taking a bite from the mango-shaped matter would be a treat and she'd sit beneath the translucent canopy until dusk settled in. A chance to catch whispers from the sun; feeling replenished from the natural world in every way.
Anemones of the soil kind. She was just as fond of the sea kind. She imagined a fresh sheet of paper, cut into miniature fan-shaped petals. A tapered paintbrush was dipped in water and paint, to gently lay strokes. The rosy hue dispersed, gently crinkling the paper as it was absorbed. She delved into her bead trove to find a speckled pin with anther-like dots emerging all around. It was perfect for holding the crêpe petals together. She dreamt of blue skies, laying on a warm blanket put out by nature - grass or sand? Grass, on this occasion.
She reveled in how holding each objet d'art conjured a new story. Marble pots were inlaid with lapis lazuli and mother of pearl petals. She thought about hiding fragrant buds within, so that she'd catch an unexpected fragrance spark, months down the line. It would bring back memories of this time. A frenetic bunch of grass zinged away with a natural energy. Fronds sparked into life, with green shoots snapping their spindly fingers here and there. Bluebells arched their stems around, to see what else Spring brought to the table.
Vibrant magenta shells were bursts of colour within the visual layers. She felt like she could call on the callas. They listened when she spoke. Their conch-like curves swayed over to be a carefree ear. Sometimes it was pleasantries and on other occasions, they discussed how she could also arch her petals in the way she wanted. The fleurs had a natural way of doing so. Just a little bit of guidance, for when she spent too long cooped up in the same position. It was time to lean in towards the sun. Stretch. Bend. Welcome in that newness.
What was it about flowers? Maybe it was their delicacy and beauty. Their ephemeral nature felt like a reminder to be present. Enjoying life while she could. The calmer colour palette reflected the season of buds. She was in the right place. The dusty lilac hues of the echeveria harmonized with dulcet bluebell tones. Purple pansies sat comfortably, emerging from the base of the table. She gazed at Spring in it's entirety, especially as she'd waited so long for it. When it finally came, it was everything she expected it to be... and then some.