The Flowering Land

May 16, 2011 § 5 Comments

The best part of living in Florida is summer-fall-winter-spring – no, not the “Indian” princess on the Howdy Doody TV Show! I’m talking seasons here!

The one constant in Florida is flora – hence the name given to it by Ponce de León!

Baby Carnations & Pinks

Poinsettias and pansies in the winter; azaleas in the spring; day lilies and plumbago and hydrangeas and every other flower and flowering bush you can imagine in the summer; and so many others in the fall – too many to mention here. In spite of my stuffy nose, I love all that color and perfume!

No wonder, then, that each spring we Summers and Sanders make the long trek from The Villages to Walt Disney World’s EPCOT for the annual International Flower and Garden Festival – okay, so it’s only 60 miles, but it’s a world away from the daily grind of retirement fun and frolic!

Flower Tower

Floating islands of impatiens; intriguing topiaries; patchwork “quilts” of rainbows and ‘hidden Mickeys’; a butterfly house and a pixie garden; whimsical towers of flowers.

Master Gardener talks from HGTV and the University of Florida’s horticultural department; the latest in ‘green’ sprinkler systems and outdoor living; and every day a sumptuous dinner in a different country followed by a Celebration of the Earth – the lazar and fireworks spectacular in the World Showcase Lagoon.

Who said Disney is just for kids!?

Crazy Quilt - Find the 'Hidden Mickey'

But as I marvel at the color and the artistry, I also wonder how long we will maintain these seasons of plenty. We hear much these days about the greenhouse effect and global warming. Politicians and TV pundits argue back and forth as to the reality of these two … what shall I call them, theories or facts? I guess it would depend on which speaker is the one I believe to be more knowledgeable about the subjects.

Some things I do know.

There is just so much water on our planet and each year more and more of that water becomes less and less potable.

Weather patterns seem to be shifting. Are we now reaping the harvest of the air and water pollutions of the Industrial age?

Storms spawn giant tornado systems. Have we always had these, just didn’t know so much about them because TV and meteorology only wed in recent years? Or is there another piece to the puzzle of our changing environment?

Flooding seems more prevalent and damaging. Have we cut down too many forests? Have we built too many of our houses on the sands of deltas and not on the rocks of the true riverbanks?

Other questions abound, but the hardest of all are these:

 – Can we do anything to stop and reverse the damage?

– Are we listening to what the earth is telling us?

– Does anyone hear what I hear?

Nothing will matter for our future generations if we cut all the taxes and minimize the national debt – and lose our world!

Blue Marble - Our Earth - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckli

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§ 5 Responses to The Flowering Land

  • Amen Mary Lois. This earth is the only home we have and we are willing to fight for everything but the survival of this beautiful planet.

    The use of the word “theory” is unfortunate. It is attached to any scientific premise, whether proven or not. Relativity remains a theory too.

  • I agree about ‘theory’, however, this is how some people consider these terms and our earth’s situation!

  • Lots of things to think about, Mary Lois. Good questions.

  • wilma says:

    MAry Lois:
    You raise many good questions to ponder and one issue the water-saving. The Marion County representatives have raised the water rates to four times what they were when we first moved here. However, with the base rates set so high, it does NOTHING to encourage residents to conserve, since the costs run about the same whether you cut down your sprinkler usage or not. It seems there should be a savings on the bill for those who care enough to minimize their usage and recycle or save the water. It IS a precious and limited resource that we all take for granted.

  • Lovadell French says:

    Mary Lois; this is absolutely the best, in all ways. So true and so informative, but made interesting. Our nation is in denial, I think. Thank you. PS.I did not know that Florida was from the word floral–and I have been here 20 years. Lovadell French

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