There’s something to be said for the power that flowers possess. For something so seemingly inanimate, flowers have an immense ability to stir our soul. Flowers never speak a word, never give an embrace, and never interact with us, and yet despite not ever trying to actually affect us, they deeply affect us on such an emotional level.
Perhaps it’s because they make us pause and appreciate where we are, as we see a bee fly into a flower and buzz around for its pollen, in that moment we feel, and witness nature. And of course, if we ourselves have planted them we feel another connection to nature. Perhaps we are affected not only because they connect us with nature but also because they are so beautiful. In a world of such uncertainty, filled with pain, and grey buildings, flowers don’t just connect us to nature, they bring a dull landscape to life, like a blank canvas erupting with colour and beauty. Even now in December, though admittedly these cold frosty days, do have an undeniable beauty with bracken and twigs glistening from natures icy kiss, when that frost thaws, and the glisten melts away, what’s left is dull, we are left longing and craving for the beauty of flowers.
Outside of their obvious beauty, I believe one of the real reasons we connect so deeply to flowers is because they are always there. Not in the sense like grass is always there or trees are always there, but as in every important event they are there. Every wedding, every funeral, to say congratulations, to apologise to express love, for Mother’s Day, Valentines Day, for the grave of a loved one, from birth to death, for almost every major life event, flowers are almost always there. For many of us, flowers can be more reliable to be there than even a close relative, you can almost guarantee that even in the bleakest of situations, the hardest of times flowers won’t stop blooming, they will always be available, and they will in many ways always be there for you.
They express words that we cannot, when saying I love you, or I miss you or I’m proud of you isn’t enough, flowers say more, they say I feel so strongly, I’ve picked a piece of the world for you, the most beautiful pieces of the world I could find. They remind us in the hard times that everything is fleeting, and just like flowers slowly fading, painful scenarios and low feelings too shall pass. They remind us of how short life is and how appreciated it should be, a cut flower may only last 5 – 7 days, but it may give you some of the happier days in your home. Flowers bring smiles, bring love, appreciation, compassion and hope. Without saying a single word, flowers have a language all of their own, and an exceptional way to stir emotion.
The emotions they stir may also come from memories, flowers that fill your nostrils with scents of grandma’s garden, or transport you back to a time when you were a carefree child picking petals and creating daisy chains. Vivid memories are coming flooding back to me as I write this, of being a scruffy happy child and rubbing the fluffy heads of deep pink centranthus and blowing the fluff on the path, or gathering up the smooth C shaped seeds of hollyhock’s as they formed in the centre of their flower head and sprinkling them on the soil in hope we’d get more, well as running my hands through bright blue muscari the little grape hyacinths and joyfully flinging their seed heads around the garden as I span around in circles. It’s funny to think I was scattering seeds without even knowing what I was doing at the time or that in the future I’d know the names of those funny plants that had only been registered in my brain as the short blue bobbly plant, the medium pink fluffy plant and the tall towering plant the bees loved. My parents certainly didn’t know the names and they weren’t gardeners, those were the only three plants on our garden and I have no doubt those plants came from a previous owner or were self-sown from the neighbour’s garden. However, they came to be there doesn’t really matter, what affects me is the way they transport me to another time, muscari, hollyhocks and centranthus will forever keep my family home and my childhood alive. These are my memories, I’m sure you will have your own too.
As we look forward to the new year, I look forward to connecting more with flowers, having and creating more memories with flowers and appreciating flowers are indeed powerful, beautiful things, that connect us to nature and stir our very souls.
Higgledy Gemma (aka Colour Wheel Garden)