Blooming With a Story

There were three guys. And three flowers. But no one told them which flower was for which guy.


One white rose and two violet irises arrived that sunny June morning at the church on the hill with the tall white steeple. They had been boxed and delivered to the groom and his two groomsmen. For some reason, at least according to my husband’s memory, they just dealt out the flowers randomly, not giving much thought to who should wear the most unique flower.

All I know is that in my elated wedding stupor, standing in the outdoor courtyard, in front of the pastor, I never recognized the mix up. Holding hands with the man I’d been holding hands with for seven years, but this time doing so with rings and a lifetime commitment exchanging between us, I remember thinking how beautiful his boutonniere was in the morning sunlight. How glad I was that I picked the stunning periwinkle iris for him.  (Never mind that I had actually picked a single white rose, which was gracing one of the groomsman’s lapels.)


It was a fun memory to share with a daughter this week, who enjoyed musing about how clueless men can be over certain issues. She and I, both with dirty knees and dirtier fingernails, were weeding the rows of beans and corn, with the promise of irises nearby, just beyond the garden fence. And the 23rd anniversary of that day of mixed-up flowers and a far-from-perfect-but-yet-so-blessed union was looming only days away.


I’m sure Siberian irises have graced many other grooms over the 500+ years since they became a cultivated bloom. Their name comes from the fact that they were first collected by monks in Siberia in the Middle Ages. They were grown in monasteries and distributed around Europe.


I’m thankful that someone once cultivated them in bucolic spots around our homestead. They’re perfect expressions of a beautiful commitment I made to my high-school sweetheart who has humored my cravings for reading, writing, and chocolate for 23 years, as of tomorrow. And they’re vibrant amethyst reminders of God’s provision… “Consider how the flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you!” (Luke 12:27)

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If you too have a flower in your backyard that’s blooming with a story, or simply one your kids or grandkids would like to get to know a little better, please feel free to print and use this blank ID page.

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My daughters and I have loved making the acquaintance of many flowers, trees, birds, mammals, and amphibians in our back yards over the years. In fact, our family’s most treasured project ever–which I’m so grateful for–is now 13 years in the making and still going strong: Our Backyard Book

But I’m immensely more thankful for my husband who has taken on the project of humoring me as a lifetime project. He may not be a boutonniere connoisseur, but not unlike that iris I admired on his lapel in the church courtyard that warm June day, he’s colorful and truly perfectly placed by my side.

Happy 23rd Anniversary to my high school sweetheart–you are a blessing that’s impossible for me to adequately name. You are a blessing beyond descriptive measure.

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As soon as you follow along on (by clicking “FollowThisBlog” in the right-hand column), you can snag another FREE 7-page, chock-full-of-information printable that will get you started on an unbelievably easy, unlimitedly rewarding journey of nature study with a child. The free printable even includes another ID page! (This one is for studying mammals.) And even the least science-oriented parent (or grandparent) ever can dive right in.

And love it.


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