Plants Do Talk

You might not know this, but I didn’t just come to plants by chance – I grew up with them on a bulb farm tucked up in the hills behind Melbourne (Australia). And even though there was a fair bit of farm work as I grew up, it couldn’t make me hate those acres of daffodils and tulips. To put it poetically, they were jewelled fields – rippling beneath a spring breeze – casting their spell – setting my life’s course.

Which makes me wonder, maybe most gardeners have had similar wonderful childhood moments? Like running through a rose garden in full bloom with the air warm-to-bursting with scent? Or a shady summer afternoon playing at the mossy roots of a large fairy tree? Or a meadow of tall grass trampled in the middle to make a secret place surrounded by dandelions? Whatever the trigger, I think that if growing things speak to us as children, they probably keep up the conversation long after we’ve grown up into gardeners.

Talking about talking flowers, take those flower lists with their corresponding messages. So that if I was to give a potted Flower Carpet Pink Rose to Sheryl (my wife), that particular shade of pink speaks one word – gratitude. And I am grateful, not just for Sheryl’s love and support over the years, but for that particular rose, because it was the rose which launched our business. So it’s our thank you rose.

Or if I presented Sheryl with a bouquet of my much loved Volcano Phlox, through them I’d be saying that I feel we are common souls who think alike. (She might dispute that…) And if she was outside hanging the washing and I came round the corner of the house, (neatly timed to when she was just finishing), with a sheaf of Canna Tropicanna, she’d stop worrying about the risk of rain because the flowers would be telling her to have confidence in the heavens.

Jokes aside, flowers do speak on a fundamental level. Lucky us.

Just looking at Canna Tropicanna makes a convincing argument that a higher authority had some hand in its creation – maybe that’s why it’s official floral message is “Confidence in the heavens”.

If you’re fluent in the language of flowers, here’s a rose that keeps talking. Its buds open into a sherbert orange declaring “Desire”. Then as it ages it moves through “Friendship” and then into a pale pink phase of a “Joy of life”. Guess it pretty much says it all.

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