It happened long time ago in a country that never existed. A happy country whose only inhabitants were gods of all sorts. Filled with insatiable longing for beauty, the almighty gods resolved to create a flower, a perfect flower, far more beautiful than all the flowers thriving in the endless and colourful meadows of the country. Surprisingly, the realisation of the dream appeared to be impossible, as the divine designers could not work out the shape for that perfect flower. All suggested forms fell short of their expectations. They were all too inferior. The initial enthusiasm slowly morphed into doubt and then despair, which had never been favourite emotions among gods. Suddenly, one of them cried that he had seen an ideal shape they might copy. It was...
One of the ancient remedies for treatment of respiratory disorders disguised as a little sun. The bright yellow flowers of coltsfoot appear early spring literally out of nowhere, especially if that nowhere looks like damp roadsides, ditches, forgotten construction sites and other disturbed places. To colonise such locations it requires a lot determination and wit. Coughwort (another common name of the plant) possess both of them as it spreads by underground rhizomes and seeds. The clever side of the expansion lies in the fact that its flowers appear first and when they fade away the leaves emerge. Hardly anyone sees the connection between the two stages. Seeing the healthy leaves we are looking forward to flowers, which... never happens. Slightly disappointed we leave them alone and forget, the outcome Tussilago is really very happy about.
And extremely easy to find because it can be grown on... a window sill. Unlike the four-leaf clover whose dubious or at least mutable existence makes all of us spend hours in the meadow, busily scanning all growing shamrock to find a reward: a four-leaf trefoil. You really are lucky if you find one. However, if you do not feel like hunting for luck in the field and would like to have at home a potful of lucky leaves - without any substantial effort - all you need to do is buy a bag of small bulbs labelled: Oxalis deppei or Iron Cross (its common name) and simply plant them in a pot. Within two or three weeks the first lucky leaves will appear and start working wonders. Some of them are even observable as the leaves move. Botanists have coined a somewhat little flattering term for that activity and call it nasty. Well, it is the photonasty.
Do not go to the garden of flowers!
O Friend! go not there;
In your body is the garden of flowers.
Take your seat on the thousand petals of the lotus, and there
gaze on the Infinite Beauty.
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?
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