Unexpected Garden Blooms

Today was the day. Two years since I saw the familiar Houston skyline shrink in my rearview mirror. It’s the day we left our hometown and started our journey toward Franklin. We were nomads for a month, and it might take me about that long to process our transition. But this morning, something else captured my attention:


An unexpected bloom on an okra plant! Apparently, the flower only lasts a single day. A reminder to live in the moment…one day at a time. Have you ever grown okra? I haven’t. And honestly, I’m not the biggest fan. But my husband has fond memories of eating okra right out of his grandparents’ garden in small town Iowa, so I picked up a wee little plant at Whole Foods.

And that surprise bloom inspired me to look around the rest of the garden. It just so happens that we have a lot of unexpected blooms! Probably because I’m not the best gardener. {Which is why it’s especially hysterical that my little wine box garden made it all the way around the world and back…even published in professional magazines and gardening blogs…as if I were some kind of gardening expert! HA! Far from it!} In some cases, flowering happens when you’ve let things overgrow. Oh, well. The beauty lover in me appreciates the overgrowth!

Arugula, lime basil and broccoli blooms:



And then there are things that are supposed to flower. Some blooms are a sign that fruit or vegetable in on its way, as many of them grow right behind the flower. I love that beauty announces the arrival of otherwise ordinary food!

Behold the cantaloupe and zucchini flowers:


And perhaps my favorite flower of the edible garden…lavender!


And so I remember to water them, my Great Great Grandmother’s flowers sit are on the front edge of my garden boxes. They’ve just started blooming again. I’m in awe that these lilies have been blooming since the late 1800s…and in disbelief that anything that old and precious is in my care!


And then there are the weeds. Because when you live in the country, the unplanned blooms are as beautiful as the plants you try hard to keep alive. I respect their resilience and beauty in this dry and rocky bedrock that we call our back yard.


I have to say, when I lived in the heart of Houston, in a pristine upscale neighborhood, I didn’t appreciate weeds. And I certainly didn’t grow “random” things like okra. I only grew what was meticulous, sensible and beautiful. {Probably why my wine box garden went viral on Pinterest.}

I’ve come a long way in the last two years, my friends. How about you?

Here’s to finding beauty in unexpected places!

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  • Cindy - I so “get” what you’re writing about here. Before I moved to Franklin, weeds were never allowed in my manicured garden…now…I let them hang out with the other flowers. Weeds have helped me let go of some things and I think that’s good. I did a blog post about them.
    http://www.discoveringfranklin.com/weed-wars/ I think you’ll appreciate the sentiment.ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - Letting our landscape go has been an unexpected part of my recovery from perfection. I didn’t realize how “perfect” I tried to keep things in my Houston yard until I moved here. I feel absolutely NO pressure to perform or keep up. Just a freedom to enjoy whatever blooms…even the weeds!ReplyCancel

  • rie - Well, you know lots of people in my neighborhood have vegetable gardens (and weeds) in the front yard! I’m impressed with yours!
    We do grow okra (a relative of the hibiscus family, hence the lovely bloom!), but really only like it fried. And we really enjoy the arugula flowers. There is a lovely drop of nectar in there amid the bitterness of the stems and petals 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - I’m with you, Rie…fried all the way. Makes sense that it’s a relative to hibiscus with that bloom. What a surprise!ReplyCancel

  • Beverly - Each of those flowers should produce one pod of Okra. I believe the flowers open during the nighttime.

    After looking at your Basil, I’d like to share a tip…. pinch off those seeds heads just as they are beginning to emerge from the leaf clusters. If you don’t do that, the flavor of the Basil will change.
    Love your blog and your varied interests.ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - Thanks for the basil tip! I am wide open to gardening help. Learning as I go and grateful to hear from those who know some things!ReplyCancel

  • Rachelle - so glad you are here!!! It’s hard to believe it’s only been 2 years for you, but then 2 years is a long time! We are just over a year. . .
    love that you had blooms on your anniversary of your new life!ReplyCancel

  • Ellen - Try roasting the okra. It has a completely different taste! I have some roasting in the oven as I type. Slice it on the diagonal in 1-2″ sections. Toss in olive oil. Lay on a parchment cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven until they are all shriveled up and dried out. Toss with salt ( I love Herbamare organic leek salt!).ReplyCancel

  • Laurel - Hi Linsey,
    I just discovered your blog a few days ago…i was in search of a custom made zinc top table. 🙂 So, thank you for leading me to Steven. Our order is in the works. I have since skimmed some of your blog…you are a beautiful writer. I, too share a love for beauty & design…I am currently in search of a new bedding set & absolutely loved yours. I have been looking for awhile now at PomPom & Bella Notte…would you mind possibly sharing where your pieces are from?ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - Welcome to the blog! My bedding is a mix of Bella Notte (all the white linen), Pom Pom (the center pillow) and Pinecone Hill (the blanket).ReplyCancel

      • Laurel - Thanks so much for getting back to me! I appreciate the help! I have enjoyed reading your blog! I, too live on a farm in West Texas w/ my husband & 3 young children! It’s inspiring to read about your faith-filled journey! Many blessings!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - Great perspective and insight, Linsey. Live in the moment… yes.ReplyCancel