Nature cannot be spruced up. This garden started with scattered seed, which brought forth flowers in their own time—years after we had all but given up hope. Now they have spread, not in neat rows of coordinated colors, or by type, like tulips in the Keukenhof in Holland—just as they will, far and wide. The birds, the breeze, and passing animals have all had an unplanned part. The rains come or they pass us by. Temperatures rise and fall. Light on the flowers may be full sun or diffuse gray, day after day. I wish everyone could come during early morning and evening when light is most gentle, bringing out rich color rather than during harsh afternoon sun in mid-summer under which most visitors witness the prairie.
Before we began this project, I saw a few pictures of wildflower yards. The flowers grew haphazardly—lacking all order or symmetry. I was not impressed and now I fear that the garden loving folks who come will be similarly unimpressed. I’d like people to see the land like I’ve seen it, at various times of day, in the rain, at first light or right after the prairie burn. Like that child at the piano, the duration of the recital piece is too short—it reveals too little of his overall beauty.
The best I can offer is a snapshot—one point in time--and share pictures in a book so folks can walk with me through the seasons. For me that first snapshot was not love-at-first-sight. But it pried open my eyes and ears and heart to let beauty slowly seep in.