A man has been in a California veterans hospital for a year with shrapnel wounds in his chest. He overhears the administration people say that he will be transferred to another hospital because he will "probably" get TB. The man knows that this is the place people go to die. He simply walks away. He meets kind people. He is asked by a beekeeper to live in his house and take care of his bees and gardens while he is in the hospital. The writing is very poetical and philosophical. Simplistic, yet complex in its thoughts and observations. A truly beautiful book - hopeful, optimistic, spiritual. Belief in the goodness of nature and the humanity of people. The author wrote: "To my way of thinking and working, the greatest service a piece of fiction can do any reader is to leave him with a higher ideal of life than he had when he began. If in one small degree it shows him where he can be a gentler, saner, cleaner, kindlier man, it is a wonder working book." Well, she certainly accomplished this in The Keeper Of The Bees.
Later I came across a blog called GPS Outdoors about the restoration of the woods and gardens of Porter's home in Indiana. I lost track of it for a while, but it is now back on the bloglist under Across the US.
One entry had a photo of one of the most beautiful nasturtiums I had ever seen. I asked what it was, and to my great surprise, it was part of the common 'jewel mix.'
I think the little red markings in the middle look like leaves in the fall
I've grown them for two years now, and I think they mirror the daylilies a bit - much smaller versions of those oranges, yellows, reds, and pinks. They are a burst of color in the vegetable garden. Some people eat them in salads. Warning: it doesn't take many seeds to make a huge display. I've had to cut back the leaves to let the flowers show through. I've been picking them all summer and putting just the tops in a little glass plate.