Oct 21 2014

Wildflowers on the way to Lakewood

According to Candy’s last letter to Albert In the epilogue of Candy Candy Final Story (CCFS), Albert took Candy to Lakewood for a day trip (considering that he had to pick her up from Pony’s Home and then drive her back).

This is what Candy wrote in her letter to Albert after the trip (from spoilers):

It was a lovely drive to Lakewood!
Lupine or rather bluebonnet, black-eyed Susan, lace flower, cow parsley, I murmured the name of the flowers along the road, thank you for admiring me for that!

So in what season / month did they visit Lakewood?

Just to satisfy my curiosity, I did some search on the web about the flowers Candy mentioned during the drive to Lakewood. Some of you are probably flower experts like Candy, who could recognize some wildflowers at a glance. I wonder where she had learned all that… from Miss Pony or Sister Lane? Is that why Albert was impressed at her knowledge? Or do you think Candy had learned from Albert? So he admired her for being a teachable ‘student’? 😛

Before I start, I must declare that I don’t know much about flowers, so if any of you spot any mistake here, please kindly let me know. Thanks in advance! 😀

Lupine / Bluebonnet

lupinus_texensisLupine is one of America’s most famous flower groups, both on the roads or in gardens. They can grow up to five feet tall and bloom over a two-month period, which can range from May to July, depending on the variety and the growing zone.

Texas Bluebonnet, Lupinus texensis, is one of the famous lupines in the world. Carpeting whole fields and roadsides in the Texas “Hill Country” every April, the Texas state flower is so spectacular. There are special tours, festivals and other big events every spring when it blooms.

Lupines don’t like hot weather unfortunately, so in Texas, where it is so much warmer, lupines don’t last too long. But in moderate climate, lupines can bloom from Spring to Summer.

Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan is considered a summer flower. They are blackeyedsusancommonly found in fields and on the roadsides, and they bloom between May and August, reaching 2 to 3 feet in height. They look like daisies with gold petals and a dark center seed head. In fact, they may come in shades of yellow or orange. The flower heads measure 2 to 3 inches in diameter, and the Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) has been the official Maryland State Flower since 1918.

Lace Flower

queen annes laceI believe Candy meant Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota). It is best known for its flowers, which are tiny and white, blooming in lacy, flat-topped clusters.

The Queen Anne’s Lace flower resembles lace as its name suggests, and each flower cluster is made up of numerous tiny white flowers. A lot of times the flower has a solitary purple dot in the centre. The plant may grow up to four feet tall.

You might actually find them between the cracks in the sidewalk, along the roads, and behind the parking lots! Anyway, Queen Anne’s lace is capable of enduring long periods of hot sun and blooms from late Spring until mid-Fall (from May to October).

Cow Parsley

cow_parsleyCow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) is a hollow-stemmed, tall plant that blooms from mid-Spring to early Summer (mostly from April to June but some say from May to July depending on the climate). Some people even call them Queen Anne’s Lace, but cow parsleys don’t bloom as long and prefer shady habitats. These tall plants may grow up to five feet tall, which can be found decorating woodland edges, roadsides, rivers, meadows and fields, etc. They are the most familiar wild plants of the British countryside. A cow parsley plant, on average, can have up to 5,000 flowers.

bluebellsBluebells

In addition, while Candy and Albert were in Lakewood, they visited the forest where Anthony had had his accident. She said “the grassland edged by wild rose was filled with full bloomed bluebell”.

I believe she meant Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta), and they bloom in late Spring (from April to May). The flowers are strongly and sweetly scented, and bluebells are often used as an indicator species to identify ancient woodland, where the flowers may dominate and produce carpets of violet–blue flowers in “bluebell woods”. I think this is what Candy had meant, that bluebells had probably covered the entire grassland. What a romantic and beautiful sight it must be!

After spending a few hours in Lakewood, Candy could finally write a ‘letter’ to Anthony (in her mind). It wasn’t clear when she actually did that, but near the beginning of that letter, she wrote,

“… Anthony,
I went to Lakewood.
Guess with whom?…”

Is it possible that she did that the same night after Albert had dropped her back to Pony’s Home? 😉 Or she might do that some time after that day. It doesn’t really matter, but I’ll talk more about this letter in another post.

Anyway, before Candy ended her letter to Anthony, she mentioned that the roses, Sweet Candy, were blooming. Normally, roses will bloom for the first time about six to eight weeks after growth starts in the spring, which may be April or early May. In fact, if the roses have been well taken care of, they can bloom every six weeks all through the summer.

Now, after reading all these, I found that some flowers bloom in late Spring and some in Summer. I guess Albert took Candy to Lakewood in May? Around her birthday (May 7)? Before or after? What do you think? 😀

6 comments

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    • Antlay on October 22, 2014 at 1:17 pm
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    Bonjour Ms Puddle

    Albert portait une chemise quand il s’est rendu à Lakewood avec Candy. J’ai consulté les temperatures moyennes à Chicago, il semble que le mois de mai est encore un peu frais, donc cela semble un peu juste pour porter une chemise. Je pense qu’ils s’y sont rendus plutôt en été.

    1. That’s true… he was only wearing a shirt. Good point, Antlay! However, we really don’t know what Mizuki had in mind when she was writing about this trip. Sigh. 😉

    • Reeka on October 22, 2014 at 6:32 am
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    Of course it was on spring, and like you, Ms Puddle, I believe it’s around Candy’s birthday. Spring was always special for Candy.

    I think Candy knew much about flowers because she had grown up in Pony’s home surrounding? On manga and anime, that time when Candy and Annie celebrated their birthday, they were “dipping” in flowers. So she might learn it from Ms Pony and Ms Lane.

    The way Candy wrote the sentence “It was a lovely drive to lakewood. ………. . Thank you for admiring me for that!”, I found it so romantic. Playfully romantic. 🙂 Unlike the way she wrote to Terry that she seemed to be thoughtful and a bit careful in words, with Albert she could write down her emotion honestly.

    From all flowers on this post, I like the bluebonnet most. I grew up and have been living in tropical countries, so I rarely witness the beauty of spring. I bet the scenery during their trip to and from Lakewood must be really beautiful. Albert chose the time perfectly. We talked about it some time ago, that I believe Albert somewhat showed his feeling to Candy on this trip, after their intimate moment of remembering Anthony’s death in the woods. Mmmm was it one of your stories that shared the same idea? One thing we know is Candy was crying hard in Albert’s arms at that time. She made his fine shirt soaked and crumbled. Imagine the way they embraced each other then! 🙂 I really wanted to believe that AT LEAST Albert kissed her forehead and top of her head at that very moment.

    And speaking of flowers, yes … from this part of letter we can tell that Candy was a flower enthusiast, a flower lover. And it makes me upset again to Terry for never giving her flowers. Yet, he showered Susanna with it everyday in hospital. Geez! ** sorry, can’t help!**

    1. Hello Reeka, after publishing the post, I have second thoughts about the timing. If it was near Candy’s birthday, that means Albert took her to Lakewood more than a year after his confession on Pony’s Hill… that seems to be quite long in between… Anyway, for sure it was a trip where they saw flowers everywhere, so likely late Spring or early Summer, when the daylight was long and the temperature was warm.
      You’re right that Candy grew up in a rural area where wildflowers were abundant on the surroundings, so it’s highly likely Candy had learned all that from her foster mothers.
      Like you, I think the way she wrote implies that it wasn’t a letter to a friend. It was a love letter from Candy to Albert. She talked so honestly and amiably. 😛
      However, I think Albert didn’t really “confess” his feelings to Candy until after the “verdict”–what would Candy do with her diary? Yet, I agree with you that Albert must have shown some affection right after their embrace, so tight that her tears had messed up his fine shirt. 😉 Candy’s description conveyed so much love, and she was miraculously healed after that, so I really can’t believe why some people are so blind not to see the power of Albert’s love to Candy.
      I’m sure Candy was a flower lover… you’re right… all those flowers from Terry to Susanna! That’s why I always think he was more tender to Susanna than to Candy! 😉

    • Ali on October 22, 2014 at 3:40 am
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    Hi Ms Puddle, Albert definitely took Candy to Lakewood after her birthday. In their correspondence from CCFS we learn that he invites her to Chicago for her birthday. In his short reply to the letter in which she’s thanking him for the wonderful time and all the gifts, he tells her that he’s leaving for Sao Paulo . From Sao Paulo he writes to her that he will take a vacation in order to come and see her when he returns. She writes him a short note asking him when he’ll be back and telling him to come quick to her (she is so impatient :D) and next is Candy’s letter describing the several hours spent in Lakewood with him :). I personally think that this occurred somewhere in June rather than May. If there is something I’m missing, please tell me. 🙂

    1. Hi Ali, nice to meet you here. 🙂
      I used to think that Albert took Candy in the summer according to their correspondence in CCFS epilogue, that everything happened within a few months of the same year (just like what you said in your comment). However, some people pointed out that Albert might have gone to São Paulo for months, and that’s why Candy was getting impatient and sent him a short letter, asking Albert when he would come back.
      But you’re right, it could be June or late June when Albert took Candy to Lakewood. While some flowers Candy mentioned might show their best in Spring, many of them might still be around even in summer. However, nobody knows the answer for sure except the author herself… 😉

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