People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us. ( Iris Murdoch)
The Random House Treasury of Humorous Quotations (1996) was a constant companion of Dad’s and it now lives on my desk beside the computer.
This quote got me chuckling this morning and seeing hyphens and flowers through different eyes:
All flowers are flirtatious – particularly if they carry hyphenated names. The more hyphens in the name, the flirtier the flower. The one-hyphen flowers – black-eyed Susan; lady smock; musk-rose – may give you only a shy glance and then drop their eyes; the two-hyphen flowers – forget-me-not; flower-de-luce – keep glancing. Flowers with three or more hyphens flirt all over the garden and continue even when they are cut and arranged in vases. John-go-to-bed-at-noon does not go their simply to sleep. (Williard R. Espy)
I went off on a search of flowers’ names and immediately hit on a likely partner for John—–
Who else but Amaryllis Belladonna, otherwise known as Naked Lady! Here she is in all her glory:
Not too long after noon here in Ireland so I’d best let them have their siesta while I go and do some Christmas-cleaning-hoovering-dusting-washing-ironing-relaxing –
Flowers can be highly symbolic both during life and as a comfort after the passing of a loved one.
I totally associate sunflowers with my late father. He introduced me to Van Gogh’s great paintings of these bright, cheerful flowers and he loved to take photographs of them.
I bought him a huge big bunch for what I knew would be his last birthday in June 2010 and later that Summer brought him photographs of some beauties which people grow by their gate way on the road which he loved between Tramore and Annestown.
I’ve been keeping a close eye on the progress of those sunflowers over the last few weeks and headed out there this morning in the mist to see if they were in full bloom.
The whole experience gave me such a strong sense of connection to Dad and I can only smile as I write this and think of the delight in his eyes when he saw me arriving with the bunch that day on his birthday.
It’s well worth finding out your parent’s preferences about flowers ~ if you don’t already know them ~ and weaving them into your relationship with them. They can have such a calming effect and it’s always great to know that the flowers will continue to bloom year after year and appear in all sorts of different places, such as poetry and art.