by cheri block sabraw
Since I live in the country, my entire garden thrives on a thin-railed deck, secure from the greatest nocturnal poachers: deer.
Side by side sit tomato plants and roses, taking in the day’s warmth, free from the fear of sudden amputation.
The stars of my garden are two tuberous Begonia plants. Mr. Begon, a Frenchman, would shout out his approval at the sight of these specimens in a throaty French: Quelles fleurs magnifiques!
Begonias are annuals. At the end of their summer and fall magnificence, they disappear back into the dirt whereby the bulb and roots sleep and replenish, waiting for the seasonal signal to arise again.
Each summer, I wait for their moment and derive botanic pleasure in watching their flowers’ life cycle progress from packaged bud to primetime blossom.
Last week, my favorite Begonia reached maturity, offering spectacular deep ruby blooms for my consideration.
Upright and proud, safe from the deer, wild turkeys, and blue jays, the flowers reached up toward brilliance, like my own prized beanstalks.
This morning, I came out to drink my coffee, listen to the creek, admire the flowers, rejuvenate, and plan a lazy Sunday.
And then, in less time than it takes to sneeze, the red blooms were gone, decapitated in a clean and decisive cut by my dog’s tail.
To insult the flower, the dog then ate it.