Are you a natural when it comes to gardening? Do you simply wish your rose bush to bloom, and presto, roses appear? Well, if you are a green thumb, congratulations. As for me, it is an effort of biblical proportion, to get even the grass to grow. I would hazard a guess and estimate that the remaining 90% of the general population share this problem. If flowers were so easy, we wouldn’t need florists and landscapers.

Flowers are without a doubt a gift from the gods. They surround us with beauty, remind us that some color in our lives can bring happiness to our drab surroundings, and often are a subtle reminder of that special moment we don’t want to forget. What about the basics of flowers? Do we really know that much about the science of flowers, what makes them so appealing, so colorful, and so sweet-smelling?

Flowers are the reproductive organs for the plants that support them. The flower itself can be composed of male and female parts, only male or only female parts, or in some cases a combination of male and female parts. Some plants need pollination, and some are parthenocarpic (a big word that only means virgin fruit) and make fruit without pollination!

The color of the flower and the scent of the flower are meant to act as attractants for the pollination process; as you can smell and see, it is an effective tool. The many colors of the rainbow can also be found in the many colors of the flower garden, also. Different colors attract different insects, as do different smells.

There are also different types of flowers. Some are perennials, some are biennials, and some are annuals. The perennials will return year after year, wherever they have been planted, but do not offer the greatest array of color or scent. The biennials will complete their entire life cycle in two growing seasons, or generally two years. Annuals are plants whose life cycle lasts only one growing season, or one year. The annual plants are some of the most brilliant and offer the greatest variety, color, and scent. They are also among the most adaptable garden plants and don’t require much more than water and sunlight.

I personally prefer the perennials to any of the other types, simply because once I plant them, they are there to stay. Unless of course, I manage to bring them to an early demise! Examples of perennials are azaleas, lilies, and of course, roses. Biennials are composed of forget-me-nots, foxgloves, and pansies. The annuals are as I stated earlier some of the most brilliant and scent and are composed of marigolds, zinnias, and snapdragons. Often annuals will drop enough seeds so that actually ‘appear’ to be perennial flowers.

As you can see, there should be flowers for every type of grower. A special color or scent for every special occasion. Flowers are like the voice of song for the plant world. When we ‘humans’ sing, it lifts our spirits, and we soar on the wings of our dreams. This is also what the beauty and fragrance of the flower bring to the garden.

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