Look out Millennials—
We’re still here – the Perennials.
I replied to their emails with a simple question, which perennial might you be?
Marilyn's response to being a perennial reads, "I am probably a daisy--I like yellow and white--perky, uplifting, energetic. (The flower, not me--lol.) Like you, I have a funny story about aging and teaching. I was filling in for a teacher at Hutch High. One class was all freshman, mostly girls. I spent extra time with a girl who just needed to talk. Just before they left, she told me, 'When I get old I hope I'm skinny, just like you!' Hilarious!"
Indeed as perennials we have much to laugh about.
Judy replied, "When I saw the pictures of the Iris
I went down the memory freeway to mom. She raised Irises for the fair each year, and knew all the names and colors of the flowers. I guess I would be an Aster that blooms in the fall, lives in the desert and other climates and is purple."
Vicki said, "I am an Iris and enjoying this stage of life most of all." While Nancy responded with, "I love the Iris, but the Naked Ladies always amaze me and I love their name, too!"
While wandering off on a color tangent of favorite flowers, I chuckled. thinking that my sister, Jonya, could be "Mexican Petunia." They are hardy, bloom everyday throughout the warm months, and propagate year to year to fill the garden with color.
In a whimsy I pictured myself as a yellow-eyed white daisy lightly blowing in the wind, but a peak out the window shifted my focus to a perennial in my garden that has been a part of my life since childhood. My grandmother would cut stems of "never die' from her rock garden every summer and give them to me to plant at home. From our childhood home on "H" st. to the farm where my parents moved, the 'never die' plant moved with us.
On the farm it thrived on the west side of the house even when the Bermuda took over the garden, but on the southeast corner it enjoyed a spectacular life in a rock garden with many rocks and sea shells we collected from our trips.
As I moved around over the decades I often cut off stems and planted them wherever I lived, never realizing that "never die" was best known as Sedum. The Sedum I planted from Kansas to Texas is best known as "Autumn Joy."
The Autumn Joy sedum is also an entertainer. Throughout the summer months a green leaf can be squeezed and turned into the appearance of a "frog's tongue" much to the delight of children. (Directions to follow this summer.)
My grandmother's naming of the 'never die' plant was close to correct-- it can survive through periods of drought because it stores water in its leaves. Even in the winter it can stand up against the snow and winter winds while showing another side to its beauty.
As perennials we are learning to accept another side of the beauty of living a long fulling life.