Tag Archives: flowers

all the loveliness.

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queen anne’s lace in august
Passing The Unworked Field
Queen Anne’s lace
is hardly prized but
neither is it idle,
look how it
stands fiercely
on its thin stem,
how it
nurtures its white budlets
with the
gift of the sun,
how it
makes for this world
all the
loveliness it can.
-Mary Oliver

can we speak in flowers? it will be easier for me to understand. -author unknown

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what is your favorite flower?

do you know what it’s saying?

 

THE HISTORY OF FLOWER MEANINGS – The Language of Flowers

The symbolic language of flowers has been recognized for centuries in many countries throughout Europe and Asia. They even play a large role in William Shakespeare’s works. Mythologies, folklore, sonnets, and plays of the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and Chinese are peppered with flower and plant symbolism—and for good reason. Nearly every sentiment imaginable can be expressed with flowers. The orange blossom, for instance, means chastity, purity, and loveliness, while the red chrysanthemum means “I love you.”

FLOWERY LANGUAGE OF THE VICTORIAN ERA

Learning the special symbolism of flowers became a popular pastime during the 1800s. Nearly all Victorian homes had, alongside the Bible, guidebooks for deciphering the “language,” although definitions shifted depending on the source.

In the Victorian era, flowers were primarily used to deliver messages that couldn’t be spoken aloud. In a sort of silent dialogue, flowers could be used to answer “yes” or “no” questions. A “yes” answer came in the form of flowers handed over with the right hand; if the left hand was used, the answer was “no.”

Plants could also express aversive feelings, such as the “conceit” of pomegranate or the “bitterness” of  aloe. Similarly, if given a rose declaring “devotion” or an apple blossom showing “preference,” one might return to the suitor a yellow carnation to express “disdain.”

How flowers were presented and in what condition were important. If the flowers were given upside down, then the idea being conveyed was the opposite of what was traditionally meant. How the ribbon was tied said something, too: Tied to the left, the flowers’ symbolism applied to the giver, whereas tied to the right, the sentiment was in reference to the recipient. And, of course, a wilted bouquet delivered an obvious message!

More examples of plants and their associated human qualities during the Victorian era include bluebells and kindness, peonies and bashfulness, rosemary and remembrance, and tulips and passion. The meanings and traditions associated with flowers have certainly changed over time, and different cultures assign varying ideas to the same species, but the fascination with “perfumed words” persists just the same.

There is a language, little known,
Lovers claim it as their own.
Its symbols smile upon the land,
Wrought by nature’s wondrous hand;
And in their silent beauty speak,
Of life and joy, to those who seek
For Love Divine and sunny hours
In the language of the flowers.

–The Language of Flowers, London, 1875

 

text credits: Old Farmer’s Almanac, Catherine Boeckmann

art credit: Illustrated postcard. Printed in England/The Regent Publishing Co Ltd.-Dumbarton Oaks Archives

tulips.

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*”tulips are the only flowers that continue to grow, up to an inch or more, after they’re cut.”

-sarah jio

 

i find it fascinating that they refuse to surrender so easily

even defiantly growing longer 

and,

there’s science.

 

*Tulip stems do continue to lengthen once they’re snipped. That’s because the cells in their stems are particularly responsive to the plant hormone auxin, which causes them to elongate. Auxin also influences phototropism — the tendency of plants to grow toward light. – google

 

art credit: watercolor by vadim 

may all your weeds be wildflowers.

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imagine my surprise 

when coming home

noticing the landscapers

had mulched and manured and cleaned

my garden

but in doing so

had removed my garden vision

i’ve been nurturing for a while

a huge mix of wildflower seeds

a naturalized garden

most on the cusp of blooming

it was full and lush and green and tall with stems

so full of potential

 the surprise beauty of new flowers

yet to be discovered

 i’m sure they just saw weeds

 were trying to help me by ‘cleaning it up’ 

leaving only what they recognized as flowers

 i so appreciate all of their work

 it’s clear we don’t share the same vision.

 

 

“man is the only critter who feels the need to label things as flowers or weeds.”

~author unknown

flowery language.

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today the water flowers spelled out their words in cursive writing

what do you think they were saying?

 

“can we speak in flowers? it will be easier for me to understand.”

-nayyirah waheed, Salt 

 

 

furstenberg park, ann arbor, michigan, usa –  june 2020

orchid.

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never 

in spite of all efforts

have i been able

to keep an orchid alive

somehow

in spite of a pot cracked 

on the very first day

and

fingers crossed

trying to care for it

this tiny orchid

has survived

 even thrived.

 a surprise new flower emerges.

 

“patience is the art of hoping.”

-luc de clapiers