“Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.” — Henry David Thoreau
The opening quote is featured in this week’s photo challenge. In that challenge, Jen H. asks us to look at the “structure of something wonderful.” You can read the entire challenge post here. What immediately came to mind is the wide variety of structures that are the building blocks of flowers. From smooth, soft petals to sharp, tingling spikes. From delicate to harsh, the world of flowers contains a universe of different structural elements. In the allium blossom above, the perfect roundness is created by long, vertical stems and thin, slightly curved petals.
Compare that to the soft, silky petals and the gentle roundness of the rose. It’s delicate appearance invites one to feel its texture, but be careful of the thorns hidden on the stems lest they draw blood.
The structure of the Mexican Feather Duster blossom is appropriately defined in its name. and the poppy blossom pictured is but one variety of similarly structured flowers that grow in a wide gamut of available colors.
The first two blossoms featured are found in the upper midwest and the plants that support them are tolerant of the harsh, cold winters there. The last two blossoms wouldn’t survive a winter, yet they tolerate the high heat of the Arizona desert. While I focused on plants with spiked blossoms or petals, there are many more interesting types and shapes of blossoms. The next time you are in your garden, take a close look at the structure of the flowers you find there.