Tiny Blossoms

Pink Chives Flowers in Allen Centennial Gardens

Tiny Blossoms © 2010 Bo Mackison

Flowers from a patch of chives.

When I was a young child, I lived in a house full of grandparents — grandmother and grandfather and my grandmother’s mother. My great-grandmother’s name was Prudie and I remember her most vividly when I was about 7 or 8 and she was in her 80s. I was an only child for much of my childhood, and lived in an apartment building where there were no other children, so Prudie was my best friend.

In the “flowering” months – usually March through November – my grandfather, Prudie’s son-in-law, would spend many hours every day in his gardens. Every morning he picked a single fresh flower and brought it to Prudie’s second floor bedroom. Knocked on her door, exchanged “good mornings” and he’d give her a flower.

Prudie had two cut glass vases – one large, one small. Some mornings she would receive a flower fit for the larger vase – a luscious ‘Everlasting’ red rose or a frilly white peony. But often she would get a tiny token from the yard – a deep purple pansy, a stalk of lily of the valley, sometimes an inauspicious white clover or a blossom from the purple chives.

These chive blossoms, desaturated to remove much of the color, remind me of the single chive flower I would occasionally see in my grandmother’s room. She kept the room quite dark to help stave off the heat and protect her weakened eyes from bright lights, and the brown shades, when pulled nearly closed, lit the room in tones rather like those seen in the photograph.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Gorgeous soft color. Love the dof here…the detail!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      The true purple color was overly bright. I tend not to do much digital changing, but I did want to see if I could capture these chives as I remember the blossom looking in my grandmother’s room. Amazingly, I think I got fairly close to my memory.

  2. Gandalf says:

    wonderful story to go with the beautiful flower

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Thanks. I have many great memories. I was honored to live with three grandparents until I was 14.

  3. So fascinating to hear the story behind your processing choice. Loved both the story and the image.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Thanks, Sue. It was a bit of a challenge, but those window shade tinted flowers are still in my mind. When Prudie was in her late 80s, she never saw the bright of day, only went out in the evenings in quieter light.

  4. I love that story! Oh my goodness, I truly did. And before I even read the blurb for the photograph, I knew what my comment was going to be. The photo reminded me of something that would be considered antique looking, just the coloring and the flowers. So wonderful – story and photo!

  5. Perhaps this is why I find that I picture the past in tones of browns and greys…lovely image of Prudie!

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