It’s May and I’ve just shoved on my gardening boots, but not before tucking the legs of my overhauls into my socks the way my neighbor taught me to do, to form a barrier against insects. Rain clouds are pressing north and away from us, and as they go, a pleasant blanket of sunshine washes over the lawn. I’m yanking out bunches of wild watercress that have, once again, overtaken our pond—a five-by-five foot breeding ground for bullfrogs, snapping turtles, and other prehistoric-looking creatures. Nosegays of wildflowers, encouraged by the warming temperatures, punctuate the moss-covered rocks with brilliant color bursts.
I recognize the blue blossoms as Forget-Me-Nots—or Myosotis—but I don’t know the names of any others.
The name Forget-Me-Not comes from the French ne m’oubliez pas, and was first used in English in c. 1532. Legend has it that in medieval times, a love-struck knight fell into a river while picking wildflowers for his lady, and was dragged to his death because of the weight of his armor. As he was drowning, the doomed knight threw the flowers to his lover, shouting “forget-me-not!” Needless to say, this story gives these common blossoms a more tragically romantic appearance.
Don’t forget to smell the flowers this weekend!