My family fed, guided and nourished me to become admired, not only by them
...also by relatives, friends and neighbours. I grew tall and stately and beautiful
...always envied by many! Many siblings I had, who matured beside me.
Together we were a “mosaic” of loveliness.
My Mother named me synonymous with ...”a beautiful girl with an amazing
sense of humour, good taste in music and movies. She's really faithful.”
Veronica is derived from Latin meaning “true image”. It is also a Biblical
name from Jesus' time...which was most appropriately inspired by my
mother's spiritual soul.
Born on a farm, I was tenderly raised ~ my image bloomed from summer to
frost, but in winter I was closeted away in the basement...there to “rest and
hibernate”. During my growing season and over winter, I “multiplied”
so that when the frozen ground became moist, I was separated from my
cluster...and replanted in deep 12 to 14 inch depth of rich soil...there to
become more Veronicas personified! I was an ugly-looking-Dahlia-bulb
that became a symbol of beauty for my Mother's gorgeous garden!
The gardens, not only exemplified colour and beauty, the dahlia bulbs
were a source of income during “depression years”. Her bulbs were
healthy, the flowers of dramatic significance. For many years, her
dahlias won prizes at local fall fairs. Each summer the neighbours,
came, the friends came and unknowns would drive in by horse and buggy
(or car if owned) to admire her flamboyant dahlias. “What is your secret,
Edna?” they would ask.
Dahlias are classified by The American Dahlia Society in US and Canada
and by The National Dahlia Society in the UK. Dahlias bloom over a long
season and require minimal staking. They have stunning forms...and colours
of yellow, purple, burgundy, pink, white and blends. Giant blooms of 10 to
12 inches are common; however smaller blooms will develop earlier, quicker
and oftener. Tall dahlias are frequently planted in long straight rows for
impressive effect; the smaller ones mingled with other plants as borders.
Each variation of dahlia is a beauty! The petals can be spikey, wispy or
round...colours vary from numerous solids to painted mixtures of 3 colours.
Each fall, the whole community attended Cemetery Day (later called
Decoration Day) to lay wreathes at graves of loved ones that once were.
My Mother, being of artistic nature, would assemble her flowers ~
dahlias, gladioli, snapdragons, marigolds, etc. arranged on asparagus
greenery and tied together with colour co-ordinated ribbons.
This was a yearly gathering event where hundreds met to pay recognition
and chat with many they knew from the neighbourhood.
Generously, if requested, Mother created wreathes for others...at no cost.
In return, they gave her home baked pies, batches of freshly baked cookies,
preserves or freshly made jam.
When visiting neighbours, friends or relatives for dinner, it was “a certain”
she'd bring a bouquet of roses, larkspur or dahlias...and of course,
there was a “Veronica” among them...greatly treasured!
Here's a Truth: Dahlias are truly the “love flowers”,
because the more flowers you cut and give away,
the more flowers the dahlia produces for you.!
Pearl of Wisdom
Live in the rose gardens of life;
live fully and live well
and do not fear the thorns.
(Iris Johansen from her novel
Merle Baird-Kerr … written July 16, 2012
Comments appreciated...scroll down (may sign in as “anonymous”)
Postscript: I often wonder why rarely (if ever)
we see dahlias in flower shoppes.