02 September 2011

Conversations with a Moonflower - book review

Conversations with a Moonflower
Author:  Christine T. Hall
Published:  2011
Publisher:  Bonneville Books, an imprint of Cedar Forts, Inc.
Pages:  120

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  You may see my full review at http://shirley-mybookshelf.blogspot.com.

The plot of Conversations with a Moonflower centers upon the most unlikely of things, a plant.  Actually the moonflower plays a secondary role to that of Chris, the narrator and main character, but its role is vital to the telling of the story.  Without the moonflower, there would be no story.

Chris was presented with a moonflower plant as a gift from an Amish friend who knew the joy and peace of such a present.  Taken home and planted, the moonflower took hold in Chris' garden and flourished there. To her amazement, Chris noticed that the synchronizing of the opening of blossoms at dusk and the visits of neighbours and friends was becoming a regular thing in her garden and soon the introduction of a bench facing the moonflower was made.  Odd that it didn't face the front, but rather it faced the plant, but if you were witness to the display put on by the plant, you'd understand.  However, the moonflower offered to Chris so much more.  Her frequent visits did something for her spirit and mind, something she desperately needed and had desired for a very long time.  You must read Conversations with a Moonflower to see the subtlety of the message and the hope therein.  Then you will understand the miracle of the moonflower.

About the plant:
Oenothera biennis, moonflower, is a yellow biennial which blooms in the summer at dusk.  

Light:  full sun to part shade
Height:  24" - 60"
Spacing:  15" - 18"
Water:  average moisture
Fertilizer:  2-3 times during the summer, no later than August 15th in zone 3
Susceptible to snails and caterpillars.

There are a variety of plants that are referred to as moonflowers and Oenothera biennis may vary.

Instructions to enjoy your moonflowers (from the author, page 118)
"Place several lawn chairs in front of the plant about ten to fifteen minutes before the normal blooming time.  You can either sit quietly by yourself or invite a family member or neighbour to share the joy with you.  Pay attention to your thoughts as you sit peacefully in the twilight waiting for each blossom to open.  Breathe deeply.  Ask questions.  Listen.  After the plant has finished blooming, sit quietly a few more minutes.  Reflect on your blessings.  Breathe deeply.  Listen a little longer."
The following photos are courtesy of the internet:


In some garden centres, the moonflower is also known as evening primrose (which is what our local garden centres refer to it as).  The evening primrose is also available in white or pink as seen below, though the plant I have grown has yellow blooms.  It is a bit of a spreader and looks very much like the plant seen above.


1 comment:

Rambling Woods said...

Your book review blog is great and I hadn't been there before....


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