Friday, 3 August 2012

One year on...

It has been a year or so now since I last updated this blog. My journey with the Royal Botanics ended in a lovely graduation ceremony, that they unwisely asked me to talk at, a short 10-15 minutes about the Herbology course. Well, it was a laugh and I got that response from some of the guests, some of the more academic guests were clearly looking for a more... rounded speech, shall we say. About the merits of the course perhaps and the work the Botanics was planning around re-developing and re-designing the Physic Garden.

After such, life carried on and we all fell back into our lives and routines. I know that Ally had started a Herb group and have seen the success of that filter through my email inbox... unfortunately, as lives do, they tend to get in the way. Personally, I continued to have beautiful plants sprouting around my room, and enjoying the comforts of some beautiful herbal products and - shock horror - herbal teas, something nobody thought I'd ever get round to liking!

I wish I had some photos of my beautiful plants but with the breakdown of technology, namely my phone, I lost various images. I still have my Lemon Balm, although a bit worse for wear, it's now less the beautifully green bushy little plant but taller, leaner and all-together a lot less leafy. However, it did flower this year, small white blooms... I was very pleased to see. I am also currently bringng on seedlings, three little herbies, all of which are currently doing brilliantly.
Out of my three bonsai trees, only one now has survived... he's not as full as he used to be either, but he was the first one that showed signs of growth and has never failed me yet.

However, I have ventured off tract. The reason for my sudden posting after a year, is this: a book recently hit the best-sellers list, and after a recommendation I decided to see what it was about. And no, I'm not referring to the 50 Shades of Grey triology. The novel was written by Vanessa Diffenbaugh called "The Language of Flowers" - the basic synopsis of the novel: it's about a orphan girl, has a troubling childhood and learns, through a foster family, the language of flowers. The basic idea of the story is to introduce a long forgotten language, the Victorians used flowers to display meaning and feeling. We know ourselves that red roses are for eternal love, but what of orange and yellow? No one ever tells you that a yellow rose means jealously or infidelity, or that the humble Iris meant a message.
In short, the book is very nicely written, and for herbies... the most interesting part, will be the several pages of flowers at the back of the book. Sorted alphabetically, they state the name of the flower, the latin name and the Victorian meaning.

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It's certainly made me think about the flowers I have in the house now, why would I want blooms that represented jealously or false riches (Sunflower)? I tend to favour the pink rose for Grace and the humble Stock as it says "you will always be beautiful to me".

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In simple conclusion, I recommend the book to anyone with an interest in flowers and plants... and if not, I certainly recommend having a nosey at some of the beautifully illustrated books available detailing the Victorian meaning of flowers.


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  2. You are looking at the sunflowers all wrong! Each plant has spirit and life force, just because yellow can mean jealousy doesn't mean that the flower emanates that spirit. Look closer at the sunflowers behaviour - growing tall, reaching for the sun, and then following it from sunrise to sunset. It is a masculine plant, with lots of movement, action and vibrancy. It encourages us to do the same. The yellow colour corresponds to the third chakra, which is about confidence, contentment and self-belief (perhaps this is where the jealousy thing comes in - possibly a sign of an under-active solar plexus chakra??). If you are curious to understand plant spirits further, the books The Earthwise Herbal by Matthew Wood and Australian Bush Flower Essences by Ian White are a good place to begin.