Spiderwort is not spider plant nor spider flower. If not, what is its relation with spiders? None! However, after a closer inspection of the open spiderwort blooms, we might find some justification for the common name of Tradescantia x andersoniana, just in the middle of each of them - a tuft of downy hairs, a straightforward (or farfetched) resemblance to a delicate spiderweb. Anyone who dreads looking at spiders will probably willingly accept another interpretation, e.g., a delicate cosmetic brush. This one is much closer to beauty than spiders are and definitely exposes better the somewhat modest assets of this charming yet underestimated perennial: decorative leaves, profuse flowering and exceptional durability.
Maybe not of wisdom itself but definitely of someone who is said to have been extremely wise: Solomon. And here the puzzle begins. Why should a rhizomatous plant have anything in common with one of the most reverenced biblical figures who "the whole world sought audience with to hear the wisdom God had put in Solomon's heart"? Nobody knows. There are more or less plausible explanations why, and the more we try to understand the mystery the more we want to have that symbol of sagacity in our garden. It does not hurt to grow something so closely related to that noble quality, does it? And the appearance of the plant perfectly matches its symbolic meaning for in the case of Polygonatum, both the wisdom and beauty reside in one home.
Aeons before the Internet was invented and gods wanted to communicate important news to people they would send Iris, their beautiful messenger to do the task. The bulletin usually covered all spectrum of vital issues from the infrared to ultra -violet- but the both extremes were only for the authorised to understand. All in between could be seen by the regular guys, and what they saw was a beautiful rainbow, a visible track or divine Iris busy at work linking caring gods to humans and their needs.
Today, the interpretation of this phenomenon has ruled out all gods and Iris from the picture, and replaced them with far less etheric reflection, refraction and tiny drops of water. Abandoned Iris did not perish, though. Leaving the modernised colourful spectrum of light in the sky behind, she found a hospitable shelter in the Iris species whose showy flowers reflect and glitter with all possible colours of the rainbow for the gods still want to communicate with us. Don't you think it is time you check your flower inbox?
For my Mother
Flowering Cherries... I find it very hard to choose the right words to begin this post with. If you would like to experience what it means to become speechless with wonder and disbelief, there is no better way than to glance at a Japanese Cherry in bloom. Having done that, try to utter a sentence, a phrase or even a single word if you can. This is exactly the way I feel right now searching for expressions that do not exist. A blissful state of lexical inability.
I was lucky though; I got help from Sonja Varga, a young Croatian girl, who wrote a beautiful haiku, surely impressed by the same source of the incriminating amazement. Let me quote her verse: "As if there were/no other blossoms/- a cherry in bloom." Sonja is so right. When ornamental cherries bloom, the rest of the world transforms into a mere background, and I know why: it simply becomes speechless! With wonder and disbelief!
...as it is poetically put by Khalil Gibran in his evergreen -just like myrtle itself- book: The Prophet. A valuable and aromatic lesson of unconditional giving, whose only aim is to offer. The list of what myrtle has to give or secure is far, far longer. I am positive it must be a real burden for the plant to be sacred and responsible for immaculate love and immortality. In between these two, since time immemorial, the myrtle twigs have been supposed to assert the virginity of the bride as an essential condition to the future and rightful fertility of the newlyweds and their happy marriage. Myrtle is a symbol of fame, joy and triumph as well as peace, stability and empathy. My question is: why is it so rarely cultivated nowadays? Can we really do without myrtle and its magic? I doubt it.
I was destined to be born gardener. In order to become a professional one I had to enjoy years of studying at various schools and universities... read more