An Agave plant's blooming isn’t just a once-in-its-lifetime event, but it's a way for a woman to remember her husband and his passing.
Bev Strohmeier, in Lakewood, said that she was not a gardener at first, but when she married her husband 37 years ago, she came to learn that he had a passion for gardening.
“He never met a plant he didn’t like,” she said.
Strohmeier said the plant, officially called an Agave parryi, was chosen for its “sculptural” nature, becoming one of the first plants he placed in the cactus garden.
Her husband passed away in April 2016, and his health had begun to decline significantly a few years before that.
“It got intense towards the end,” she said. “But we were able to keep him home, until the very last three days in hospice.”
The first anniversary of his death was hard. And during that time, she had a neighbor over to look at her garden.
They were walking by the cactuses when the neighbor noticed a bud on the agave plant.
It’s “growing inches a day,” to where she fancies that the plant is showing its passion for life.
“I really feel like that’s a tribute to him,” she said. “Because he invested himself so much in this place and in this garden.”
It’s helped her come to realize that she can stay house and garden filled with so many memories, and rather than be haunted by them she can tend to them.
Still, this tale isn’t without its small sorrows – this type of agave plant blooms only once before it dies.
Watch Bev's story, shot by photojournalist Chris Hansen, in the video above.