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Rosebuds and stuff.

February 13, 2011

Pretty well everyone knows ( I think) the part in Hamlet when poor old Ophelia says ‘Rosemary, that’s for remembrance…’. And who doesn’t know that line of Burns (not very inspired, I’m afraid):” My luv is like a red red rose…”? 

 Now, I am fond of gardens and garden lore, and I like bits about flowers in literature, and I like botanical prints and garden books and pretty flowers in vases. From time to time I have toyed, rather vaguely, with the notion of being a botanist. My myopia, however, isn’t very helpful when it comes to peering down a microscope so that makes it all a bit complicated. So I am not one. And I have a garden though my fingers aren’t truly green like my mother’s. But I like to potter in the garden and look at the shadows and stare into space. And I have always enjoyed ‘The Language of Flowers’ and I think the little poem (written in August 1913) in the front of the copy my late mother-in-law got from Touchwood Books is quite sweet.

There is a language, “little known”,

Lovers claim it as their own,

Its symbols smile upon the land,

Wrought by Nature’s wondrous hand,

And in their silent beauty speak

Of life and joy, to those who seek

For Love Divine and sunny hours

In the language of the flowers

 Justicia (that funny-looking thing below) signifies ‘the perfection of female loveliness’. Try starting there.There might be a bunch at the service station. [The generic name honours Scottish horticulturist James Justice (1698-1763).]

190px-jacobinia_magnifica02

(Picture courtesy of Wikipedia, the useful oracle).

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