Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dreams Come True

When we first moved to the frozen north (Minnesota) Jean and I became involved in all sorts of gardening just to enjoy what seems at times too short summers and too long winters. We joined MN Water Garden Society and did some volunteer work and went to a few meetings. In my usual over-the-top approach I remembered that the Como Park Conservatory's water gardens were really poorly done. I called and talked to the curator and she would welcome help from our society to put their ponds in order.

Long story short... this was a lesson in group dynamics and how good intentions regardless of how good can die on the vine. I drew up a thirty page plan on how to care for the conservatory's indoor water features and presented it to the board of our water garden society. It wasn't well received. There were reasonable, but suspiciously specious complaints about how we were going to 'man' such an effort. Shouldn't the water garden society be excited by this opportunity, the chance to care for one of the premiere indoor water garden features in the state?

Months later I accidentally met a board member at Home Depot. His advice off the record was just to go do it without involving the board. Hmmm.... maybe good advice to get things done, but that would probably end my relationship with most of the board members. I can only imagine what negative thoughts were brewing as a new-be member was outlining a plan to lead such a visible and relatively important effort.

Long story short... (and I mean it this time), the curator at the conservatory had a lot of dreams and very little funding. One of her dreams was to raise topical lotus flowers, the type that have leaves greater than 36 inches across (as seen to the right). When one of these plants puts out a series of leaves the space needed may be as much as 8 foot in diameter. Not to mention the need for sun, heat, water conditions etc. These plants live in the tropics to get them to not only grow but to bloom in Minnesota is no small feat, and on top of that having the space to hold 20 or more plants!

I spent an hour or so at the conservatory today. I wonder what turn my life would have taken if my plan for the water garden society's involvement at the conservatory would have been received as an opportunity instead of some sort of usurpation or upcomeance .

The pictures in this post and at this Flickr page are proof that dreams can come true and in a very impressive way. For me these lotus flowers and water lilies are the best thing at the conservatory by far.

There are always nay-sayers in the crowd both for your plans and your dreams.

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