You probably know I keep two hydroponic gardens in my lightless, Brooklyn apartment. Miracle-Gro makes these cool self-contained units that most folks use to grow pot. I use them to grow flowers, lavender and petunias this year, the only real option in my sun-starved closet of a home.

petunias

They make me really happy. The petunias add bright color and the lavender keeps the apartment smelling nice, and I get the added joy of being responsible for living things.

But flowers are also messy, and even simple hydroponic gardening is work. They drop petals and “leaf litter.” Bugs are drawn to them, fungus gnats like hydroponic reservoirs. They condense and drip water on the floor. They need constant attention: pruning, watering, adding liquid nutrients to the reservoir. I can’t go out of town without arranging for a neighbor to look in on them. I’m beyond busy and intensely jealous of the time I spend having to care for them. It’s a pain sometimes.

But flowers are immutable in their demands. If you want them in your apartment, if you want to look at their color and smell their scent and feel the joy and satisfaction that comes from watching them thrive, you have put up with the mess, and you have to do the work. That’s the price of admission, unchanging and eternal.

This post is, of course, about love.

Author Myke Cole

Myke Cole is an American writer of history and fantasy who leverages a lifetime in military, law enforcement and intelligence service to take you to battlefields, real and imagined.

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