Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fantastic Extravagance

On Monday I wondered when the Oriental Poppies would "pop".

Tuesday morning they had!
I awoke early, looked out our kitchen window and into the garden where I could see the striking orange poppy easing its way free from the green fingers of its shell.

Had the sound of the "pop" awakened me?

I've never actually seen in person a butterfly emerge from its cocoon.
The poppy's release reminds me the time lapse photography I've seen of the butterflies.

The center...oh so exotically beautiful!

The first poppies are always the most exciting to see.
There are plenty more to come; by next week this part of the garden with be filled with orange and scarlet petals.

If I had little ones at home, I would have picked this "cracked" bud, and placed it in a vase on the kitchen table to watch while breakfast was being consumed.
A bit of heat...and the flowers unfurl swiftly.
And sometimes a gentle pop can even be heard.

"Fantastic Extravagance"
Do you agree that is the message that the Oriental Poppy blossom conveys?
(I'm thinking this photo may be "above the mantel" enlargement worthy...)

An early scarlet corn poppy tries unsuccessful to compete with the Oriental.
"Consolation"  is the meaning of this flower: it causes sleep which is a comfort in painful times.

The white lined casted off bud case fragments still lingers at the throat of this particular poppy. 

Frenchie has joined me in the garden.
Would you care to join me too?
This time I will guide you about while teaching you about the Language of Flowers.

I  have owned flower language books for years, books that gave meaning to flowers that were treasured by the Victorians as a means of communicating secretly.
Over the centuries conflicting meanings have been given to flowers, even within a single book.
A yellow rose, for instance, is said to mean "Jealousy" on one page and "Infidelity" on another page of the same book.
Author Diffenbaugh has spun a perfect summer "chic lit" romance story in her book "The Language of Flowers", and has even taken it upon herself to work through multiple language of flower books to learn the language of flowers and included a dictionary at the end of her novel.

Lately I have had a difficult time enjoying novels.  I tend to close the last page and feel like I wanted both my money and my time back.
Not the case with this book.
Not at all.
If you are looking for a great book to read...this is it.

So who is interested in strolling the garden and figuring out the meaning of flowers?
Big yawn from Tate, a turned back from Bitsy.
I will take that as a "no" from both of them.
I am pretty good at understanding the Language of Cats

Hart listened to what I planned to do in the garden. 

No interest.
All righty we go without the cats!

Iris= Message/Good News

Flowers shaded orange=Passion/Desire

Blue hued Iris=Treasured Friendship/Faith and Hope

Coral/Orange Rose: Fascination
(My favorite color of rose...also passion/desire.)

Dianthus=Make Haste

Striped version=refusal, I can't be with you.

(Don't you think every bridal bouquet should have a bit of ivy?)
This is Boston/Japanese Ivy.
There is probably a secondary meaning, but I haven't found it yet.


Bleeding Heart = Grace
 (I am wondering: in motion or as in God's grace?  I like God's Grace/forgiveness)
Hosta = Devotion
Maple= Elegance/Reserve
Coral Bells = Dainty Pleasures
Lobelia =  malevolence and ill will (yikes!)

Dahlia = Dignity

Yellow Rose = Jealousy, Infidelity
(oops, I just planted two of them...)
In TEXAS a yellow rose  means "True and Undying Love"
Those ten years in Texas must of sunk in to my soul in order for me to want two yellow rose bushes in my garden.

Gerber Daisy = Cheerfulness
Alyssum = Worth Beyond Beauty
Primrose = Childhood
Pansy/Viola = Think of me
(johnny jump ups: My thoughts are about you)
Strawberry = Perfection
(the book has a comment about a bride carrying a bowl of strawberries...) 

Orange and more orange....gotta be something about passion and desire going on here in my garden.

The color white symbolizes purity.
So a two tone white/lavender iris would mean....???
Purity in Treasured Friendship?
(Probably a crushing message to send to a wooing male suitor!)

I think Tate regretted  his earlier indifference and was trying to send me a message...hee hee...

Wonder what two toned apricot and lavender iris would mean??

Catmint = Fragrance

Grass = Submission

Purple Iris = Wisdom and Compliments
Maple = Elegance and Reserve

Pure Wisdom/ Pure Compliments

An almost black iris....hmmm.
Could be Deep Wisdom or (if it was up to me) Enchantment

Yellow/Orange Poppy = Wealth/Success

(Figures since it is California's state flower!)

I have to warn you: I have found it addicting to look up the meanings of flowers in books and on the Internet.
One Internet site even charted the changes in meaning over the centuries!

Rhubarb = Advice
Nasturtium =  Impetuous Love

Morning Glories = Coquetry

Moss = Maternal Love

Lily of the Valley = Return of Happiness

Lark's Spur = Lightness

Baby's Breath = Ever lasting Love.

Marigold = Grief

Sunflower = False Riches (so much for brides toting a single huge sunflower!)

I have learned that the meaning of the flowers were changed by their position in a bouquet.  A flower up high was an affirmation of the meaning, the same flower low in the arrangement would mean the negative of the meaning.

Here's a LINK to  a site that assigns basic meaning to flowers by color.
What a lovely tactile practice communicating with flowers must have been.
Any chance it could be revived?
I'm thinking the novel I mentioned earlier could be just what is needed to jump start the practice all over again.