Just after the fourth of July, my neighbor with the beautiful garden around the corner appeared at my front door bearing some sort of enormous flora.
"What is it?" I asked.
"It's an onion flower," she said.
"It looks like a firework!"
"Exactly," she said. "I brought it because you seem to be inspired by plants." I thanked her, put the flower in a vase to hold it upright, but it didn't need any water because it was perfectly dried. I kept the onion flower on the table in the studio until the inspiration took hold. It didn't take long.
I loved the explosion, the form, but had to find a connection emotionally. I read an article on the Garden Betty website (and title for the piece is taken from it also) about why an onion plant bolts, why it flowers or goes to seed. Once the onions bolt, "their bulbs stop growing and their storage capacity diminishes." I immediately thought of memory and the storage capacity of our minds.
When the onion flowers, the onion stops growing, but the bloom is spectacular.