A Quest for Magnolia


My niece, down in Oz, is using my photo of a flower from Surrey’s City Hall as a basis for a painting. It’s almost done, and her art instructor wants her to name it. She sent me an email asking what it was, but I had no clue. I said I’d see if one of the City Hall gardeners could help.

What helpful people down at City Hall. The security guard looked up from his mulit-security camera monitoring station and smiled when I arrived at his desk. He put out a call on his radio to see if anyone had seen a gardener out about. When they radioed that they had, he asked them where, let me know and I was off.

Estimated time: 3 min.

A quick walk across the property and I was talking to the gardener. She took one look at the photo on my iPhone, smiled and said, “That’s easy. It’s a magnolia, Magnolia stellata to be precise.”

Estimated time: 3 min.

There were a hundred ways that could have been a much worse experience. But it wasn’t. It was great for me. And the guard and the gardener have a story to tell about how they helped a guy that came in today looking for the name of a flower in a photo on his iPhone; how something different happened today.

Some days, life is grand.

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