‘The flower world is linked with all the finer sympathies of our nature. The sweet blossoms that cover the green wood are the delight of our childhood; a bouquet is the best ornament of girlish beauty, the meetest offering from young and timid love. Flowers deck the chambers of old age and are the last sad gift of sorrow to the dead.’
Flowers are twined around my memories, evocative and melancholy; the lilacs my childhood fairies danced on, the primroses I picked on my first walk down a country lane, the dried edelweiss in my mother’s bedroom, the canna that blossomed the day my youngest was born, the bunch of alliums my eldest picked for me, the peony I lay on my grandmother’s grave. Flowers and their perfumes can be so meaningful of the memories they represent and live in special places in our hearts.
lilac – earliest memory and love
primroses – childhood
edelweiss – purity
canna – glorious and handsome beauty
alliums – patience (he was so proud presenting me with allium heads he had cut, that were almost a metre high and were being grown for dried festive arrangements!)
peony – compassion
When my dear grandmother was laid to rest in her birthplace of Austria, I laid a peony from the garden where she grew up and I had spent many happy summers. I took a cutting from this plant home and I now have another generation from this very plant growing in my garden, each year its blooms offer me comfort.