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Boy, flowers sure are nasty things, aren’t they? Fools may fall for their superficial charms, but not me. Hey readers, if you love flowers unconditionally, don’t read additionally.

I received a call from a woman who told me that every morning her skin is covered with red bed bug bites. Bed bug infestations are rare in the mountains, though we do see them. Arriving at her Big Bear home, I thoroughly inspected the bed, and saw no sign of bed bugs. I asked to see the bites and she told me they had gone away. “Bed bug bites don’t just go away,” I said. “Something else is causing the red marks.”

Drawing on years of experience, I asked her if she’d recently changed laundry detergent. “I just bought a new kind.” she said. I inspected the product and, sure enough, it was one of those natural brands scented with flower extracts. Bingo. “Some people,” I explained, “have allergic reactions to detergents made with flowers. I recommend using the unscented kind. Call my office if you need anything.”

So, there’s the cold, hard truth about flowers. But, based on their reputation for soothing the savage beast, I’m willing to give them a fair shake. OK, I am now standing in front of a flower garden. Here is what I see:

Roses are red, violets are blue/good morning, cosmos, how in the world do you do?… yarrow is yellow, vetiver has verve/that show-off bougainvillea sure has got nerve!… daisies are dandy, jasmine smells fine/lilac ever sends me to outer cloud nine… spiders eye aphids, snails crawl along/nectar calls to bees in a cloud of birdsong… toyon is tops, poppies stand tall/imagine the madness and color of it all!… in a lovely garden, where seeds have now grown/a heart can sure feel what a head cannot know.

Well, readers, on second thought, flowers are pretty darned awesome after all. Have a colorful summer!

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