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Flowers are one of my greatest joys in life. I can't say I have a favorite, but I notice this year
I bought a bunch of orange flower seeds and bulbs. Every year I traditionally spend about a month working in the yard, so as the years have passed, I've watched the gardens mature and flourish. There's something very satisfying about starting a plant from seed, observing as it grows and blooms, then goes to seed, which I can then harvest for next year's season. I feel like I'm carrying on a tradition that's lasted for untold millenia.

I probably won't get a chance to travel this summer, but when I do I always make a point of visiting the local botanical gardens wherever I go. A few years ago I had the great pleasure of spending several days in San Francisco, during a summer that was marked by fog and rain. The locals were distressed by the never-ending gloom, but I was delighted by the explosion of color and magnificent flowers I saw everywhere I turned. They didn't seem to mind the rain one bit!

My admiration for cactus has to stem from my youth growing up in Southern California. And like roses, there's something interesting about a
plant that uses thorns to protect itself. Phoenix and San Diego
both have a lovely botanical garden, where the cactus varieties
are quite amazing.