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Quote from Rose Hips and Thistles, by Marion McCready
(see below for full poem)

A solitary hip on our balcony rose bush … It’s an unpredictable plant, offering only one or two blossoms a year, with one often blooming when it snows (like this one did) and one in late summer.

The colour of the flower is a brilliant orange-tipped deep yellow, and the fragrance of that single blossom fills the balcony for just a few days, enough to satisfy me but always wanting more fragrance.

Last year we thought it had died, struggling for light on our shady balcony, so we cut it down to its roots. I had planned to remove the roots and replant the pot with a shade loving plant (hosta?) but got sidetracked by something no doubt shiny and interesting.

I went back a week later and it had grown about 25 cms of a hearty new stalk, followed soon after with a delicate new bud and then a glorious fragrant blossom.

I have learned so much medicine from this scrappy little plant:

Bloom in your own time, when it’s right for you.

Rest when you need to and come back invigorated and stronger than before.

Leave them wanting more!

What wisdom have your plants shared with you?

Rose Hips and Thistles
By Marion McCready

It’s been a long Indian summer
and the hips are rotting on the beach rose.

I can almost taste their sour skins –
red balls of seeds glistening

like fiery cauldrons in the late September sun;
green tentacles dripping below.

I’m dreaming of exotic gentians,
alpines, delphiniums.

But it’s the last of the flowering thistles
that stand before me

with their decadent helmets and feathers.
I think of Ellen Willmott

secretly scattering thistle seeds
in her neighbours’ gardens,

spreading pieces of herself – a legacy, to grow
and grow again when her body

is lowered to feed the earth
in a last great act of love.

from Madame Ecosse (London: Eyewear Publishing, 2017) Source

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