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Water Lilies and Geraniums in July

July 22, 2015


Water Lilies and Geraniums in July


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



Who declared the water lily

the birth flower of July?

As a child of six or seven,

I first remember seeing the lily pads

on the goldfish pond ,

over which was a wooden foot-bridge,

at Roselawn Cemetery.

The delicate blossoms floating

on their pads

seemed so exotic to me.


Then, this week,

almost six decades later,

I read an article in orion

about the Giant Amazonian Water Lily,

whose pad measures,

in diameter,

ten feet–

much too large for the goldfish pond at Roselawn.


The bud of the

Giant Amazonian Water Lily

is the size of a Hoosier basketball,

but Larry Bird would not dare dribble

nor try for a three-pointer

with this magical, midnight bloom.



the bountiful bud first opens with petals

of white

and only at night.


Scarab beetles,

scientists, or botanists

pollenate the Giant Lily

before it shuts tight

to avoid favoring its beauty

in common daylight.


The second opening night,

the Giant Amazonian Water Lily

changes its dress

to pink

and increases the temperature

of the pineapple-scented air in its surroundings

eleven degrees , Celsius.


What a spectacular work

of Mother Nature!

However, I will dote on my

pink and white geraniums

whose flowers,

so abundant in this July,

do not wait until midnight

to show off

their Midwest-sized,

Heartland beauty.



NOTE: Richard Mabey’s article “Midnight Bloom,” published in the May-June, 2015 issue of Orion magazine, inspired this poem.


Enjoy the flowers of summer!

Alice and Zoe


July 22, 2015, Wednesday



From → Uncategorized

  1. Alice. Your description of the water lilies is wonderful, especially the use of one of my all time sports heroes, Larry Bird. We have several different kinds of lilies around our home, most of which are day lilies. Next to the irises, zinnias and daisies, they are my favorite flower. Oh ya, I almost forgot my blue hydrangeas, and my azalea bush, and, grin. Great post filled with the magic that only you can bring. dp

    • Deon–Thanks for your kind comments and flowery words that have brightened my day. No longer under construction, the inner courtyard of my apartment complex once again has beautiful white hydrangeas. Although our hydrangeas are large, I understand that they are small incomparison to those that bloom in Oregon. Have a wonderful summer day! Alice

  2. Carole permalink

    We have lots of water lilies in the ponds, but I do miss my beautiful hydrangeas. You always have healthy potted plants, so enjoy your season of blooms. Best to you and Zoe!

    • Carole–Your Indiana flower garden could have been a photo spread in a garden magazine. Take care!AZ (P.S. After talking with you on Tuesday, Mary told me that July 21 was National Cousins’ Day. Belated Happy National Cousins’ Day!)

      • Carole permalink

        Oh, thanks; and the same to you, Alice! XO

  3. Using the pretty water lily stamps from the US Post Office this summer has been a delight for me! I also recall admiring these unique flowers and lily pads at the cemetery. The Giant Amazonian water lilies are truly a wonder along with the beautiful geraniums you are nurturing in your garden pots!
    Happy July to you and Zoe!
    Love, Mary

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