Monday, February 25, 2008

A Blooming Long Post!

This truly is a long post, I should probably have made it into more than one! It was an organic process - I daren't start pruning and dividing now, as I'm sure it will mess all my spacing up!
Flowers are a part of almost every aspect of human life. Traditionally, they are present at all the most significant times and anniversaries in our lives: birth, coming-of-age, courting, marriage and death. We associate flowers with moving home or changing job, with romance and friendship, with successes and with disappointments, tragedy and triumph.
But they are also a part of the daily stuff too.

With daffodils mad footnotes for the spring

And asters purple asteriks for autumn

~ Conrad Aiken

Like humans, flowers come in all shapes and sizes, and they each have an important job to do here on earth, even if it's only to make people smile!

Earth laughs in flowers

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

From the largest flower on earth ...

The Titan Arum at Kew Gardens

... to the smallest.

Ok, so the smallest flower is really Wolffia microscopica, the Duckweed flower

(several of which would fit on a pinhead)

Flowers thrive in the most amazing places.

From desert ...

... to tundra.

They even grow on the moon ...

(Well, ok, but they are called Moon Flowers!)

We grow them in fields ...

... in meadows ...

... and in gardens.

We arrange them in bunches ...

... in chains ...

and in vases ...

We have flower festivals to celebrate them in their thousands ...

A carpet of flowers at Christchurch's Flower Festival

... and carnivals ...

Battle of the Flowers in Jersey

And we love them as single blooms ...

We decorate our homes with them in other ways too.

Pictures of flowers on the walls ...

Van Gogh's famous Sunflowers

I love Dali but hadn't seen this before: Woman With Head of Flowers

Monet's scrumptious garden

I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers

~Claude Monet

We decorate tableware with flowers ...

This plate has been decorated using pressed flowers

These cuties were designed by Warhol

Japanese flower plates

And soft furnishings ...

Flowers are a traditional symbol in quilting

We decorate ourselves with flowers ...

We can eat flowers ...

Nasturtium flowers are gorgeous in salads

(and you can use the leaves and seeds too!)

Elderflower heads make a spectacular dessert fried in batter

Lavendar is often used to flavour sugar and makes unusual fragrant scones or biscuits

Crystallized violets make pretty (and very yummy) decorations

We wear flowers.

As floral dresses ...

... dresses that make us look like flowers ...

... and dresses made from flowers ...

We have flowers on hats ...

... on bags ...

... and groovy shoes.

And ...


Let us dance in the sun, wearing flowers in our hair

~ Susan Polis Shutz

We make artistic arrangements of flowers ...

Japanese warriors used flower-arranging as a way to relieve stress

We give them as gifts.

In big bouquets ...

... or VERY big bouquets ...

... or tiny, hand-picked posies.

(The best kind of all!)


A different point of view:

Why do people give each other flowers? To celebrate various important occasions, they're killing living creatures? Why restrict it to plants? "Sweetheart, let's make up. Have this deceased squirrel."

~ The Washington Post


We use flower names as names for girls ...


We have flower girls at weddings ...

A Tradition from Greek and Roman Times

Erm ...

(Not sure where this came from, but you know me and daisies ...

I really can't bring myself to delete it!)

The poet's darling ~ William Wordsworth "The Daisy"

Flowers are linked to identity.

We represent our heritage and nationality with flowers ...

The Wars of the Roses - the Red and White roses of the Houses of Lancaster and York

The Thistle of Scotland

Welsh daffodils (changed from leeks)

A four-leaved clover for Ireland?

England's Red Rose

We have worshipped flowers as goddesses ...

The lovely Xochiquetzal or 'Flower Feather'

Patron of Women and the Arts

We have incorporated them into religion ...

The Madonna Lily - an early symbol of Christianity

The lotus blossom is important in Bhuddism and Hinduism

We have linked flowers to astrological signs

Freesias for Pisces

The delicate Violet represents February

The violets in the mountains have broken rocks

~ Tennessee Williams

We have chosen flowers as emblems of the places we live ...

The state emblem of Western Australia is the Red and Green Kangaroo Paw

The emblem of the Canadian state, Saskatchewan, is the Western Red Lily

When you have two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one,

and a lily with the other

~ Chinese Proverb

Certain flowers are associated with certain places ...

Tulips are synonymous with Holland

Edelweiss is forever linked with Austria in the song from The Sound of Music

Please Don't Eat the Daisies!

A few more random flower songs ...

Going to San Fransisco?

Wear flowers in your hair!

Bette Midler - The Rose

Buttercup Baby

(Eldest daughter's favourite ... makes me smile!)

Then there are flowers in literature, films, folklore, ritual, medicine, romance ...

Oh, enough about flowers!

(At least for today ...)

There's a special bunch of flowers for you here!

(Previous post about floriology: links to more about the meaning and language of flowers.)

And here are a few more daisies ...

Just because!



hesitant scribe said...

This is a most beautiful and interesting, and inspiring post. Thank you for taking the time to post all those lovely pics, and find quotes to boot.

My favourite quote is the Chinese one about buying a loaf and a lily with your last two pennies - very true. (Aside from Tibet and Tianamen, don't you just love the Chinese?!)

And how weird we both did flowery posts at the same time - I love the Zeitgeist :)

aliqot said...

A lovely post. it didn't feel long, because each bit is short and the pictures are beautiful.

The quote from the Washington post reminds me of a cup someone gave me
'I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals. I'm a vegetarian because I hate plants.'

Moondreamer said...

Lisa, thank you, what a lovely thing to say! I loved doing this post and am really glad you enjoyed it too.

I cheated a bit with the quotes - they're all from the same website! I meant to put some extra links at the end but somehow forgot, I'll try and put them up as a separate post today.

Zeitgeist ... fantastic, hey?


Alison, "I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals ..." LOL! Love that!

Thank you for your lovely words, I'm really glad you liked it. I had such fun choosing all the pictures.

But as it took me four days, it might be a while before I do another one!