Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A winter diversion in floral language

This looks like a helpful article for folks needing a refresher on seed starting. Me, I usually watch Herb starting his tomatoes and peppers before I get enthusiastic about dragging out my stuff, but by then it's late to be starting seeds that need long germinating and growing up, or cold hardy plants that can go out early.

I was just downloading my latest Aubrey photos from my camera and I ran across this pretty photo from the Extension herb garden that I took last summer. (Remember, with Blogger, if you click on the photo you can get the original side photo to pop up in a new window.Then you hit your 'back' arrow to come back.)

Just a simple impromptu bouquet of whatever was blooming at the moment, with my trusty Felco pruner and a backdrop of my canvas chair-in-a-bag. It must have been early enough for the lilac to still be in bloom, I also see calendula, signet marigolds, yarrow, and is that mint? A memory of June! Ahh!

In the Victorian custom of attaching meaning and message to the gift of a bouquet or "tussie mussie", this little bouquet has the hidden meaning of Joy (calendula), Refreshment (mint), Health (yarrow), and Grief (WAH!?!), although alternate lists of floral meanings might also interpret this little bouquet as Sadness or Hopelessness (calendula) and Virtue and Warm Sentiments (mint). I only checked four books and didn't find lilac's significance, but I'm sure there is some master list out there that some scholar has compiled for the truly serious meaningful posie giver where we could find lilac's message.

Here is a winter diversion: find a photo of a combination of flowers that you like and determine the meaning. Or, design a herb and flower garden with a message.
The question came up at the Master Gardener meeting last week on how to find gardening books at a reasonable price. My gardening bookshelf bears an embarrassment of riches - I've collected from thrift shops, charity resale stores (Goodwill), consignment shops, used book stores (Jellybeans), Border's markdown table and back when Borders had an outlet store nearby, yard sales (last year I got a deal from a Master Gardener who was downsizing), public library book sales, silent auctions at herb society and herb associates events, and freebies from friends. Thinking of all of those wonderful sources for my books and the pleasure I've had in getting to sit down with a new (to me) book uncovers a wealth of good memories.
You'd think I'd be smarter by now, wouldn't ya!

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