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She’s seeing nothing but red

By Staff | Aug 17, 2009

Good things in life bring joy.

Actually, Buddha is credited with once saying, “Joyful is the accomplishment of good work.”

If you have any doubt about the truth of those words, you’ve never met 75-year-old Gloria Quade of Blue Earth.

“Some people think it’s work. I don’t. It’s a labor of love and joy,” Quade says with a smile.

She’s talking about a clay pot that measures 18 inches in diameter and has more than 80 geranium blooms and buds.

“That’s the biggest pot I could find. The plants weigh a lot,” she says.

The bright red flowers are located in the open air courtyard at Crescent Apartments.

They rest on a small platform with rollers so they can be easily moved to the right spot to catch the sunlight.

Quade’s “awesome blossoms” weren’t always an eye-catching sight.

It all started about 10 years ago with a single plant.

As she tells it, the flower was a gift for her mother and father living at St. Lukes Lutheran Home in Blue Earth.

“It was just a little something to brighten their room,” Quade says.

Eventually, the plant would find a new home — the St. Lukes gift shop, where Quade was employed.

Year after year, she would prune the plant and re-plant the cuttings.

“I had to get bigger and bigger pots. Now, I have to give the pieces I cut off to anyone who wants them,” she says.

Quade acknowledges she has a “green thumb” and her love of flowers began as a young girl while living on a farm.

She believes her ability to care for plants may have been inherited.

The family lineage consists of natural-born horticulturalists, she says.

“My mom and dad were good with plants and my grandparents on both sides also grew and loved plants,” Quade says.

She doesn’t claim to have any special secrets or techniques. Unless, you consider using dried coffee grounds and two to three cups of coffee as daily nourishment, in addition to water and proper sunlight.

In the winter months, the geraniums are taken to the dining area that has a lot of windows for sunlight.

The array of flowers has drawn a few compliments. But, unlike her friends and others who are impressed — it’s no big deal and she can’t understand all the fuss.

Quade doesn’t know how long the plants will live. For now, she’ll care for them because it’s just something she has to do.

“They’ve become part of my life. Like a person, they depend on me,” she says.

Growing plants can be one’s personal link to nature and the benefits are many. Helping reduce stress, providing relaxation and a creative outlet are just a few.

Studies show plants can make a person feel calmer and more optimistic.

“Where flowers bloom, so does hope,” — those are the wise words of Lady Bird Johnson.

Unknowingly, some people have taken those words to heart.

If you ever get a chance to meet and talk with Quade, you’ll understand what I mean.