Both the sight and scent of flowers delight. They’re often present at life’s important occasions: weddings, funerals, birthdays and anniversaries. They help cheer people up when they’re sick or sad and help us make celebrations more special. They also trigger memories, and so, are often dried or pressed between leaves of a book for safe keeping. Most perfumes are made from concentrated floral scents. The slightest whiff of a familiar perfume can awaken a sleeping mountain of memories.
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
~ William Shakespeare
Floral names for women have always been popular, among them: Rosa, Daisy, Iris, Violet, Lily, Myrtle, Margarite and Jasmine. Although most people love trees, they certainly don’t name their daughters Spruce or Maple. Why do flowers have this special place in our lives?
Could it be because the olfactory nerve that plays such an important role in our sense of smell is located right next to the part of our brain where memory is stored? Or is there some more mysterious reason? After all, shape and color define flowers as much as scent.
My dad’s favorite flower was lily of the valley, which happens to be in bloom now in my flower beds. It’s almost impossible for me to look at these delicate white flowers without thinking of him. These are also my friend Rose’s favorite flowers, so they also trigger thoughts of her too. Oddly enough, I don’t think of Rose when I look at roses.
Forget-me-nots are also in bloom. They remind me of my grandparents who had the words ‘forget-me-not’ engraved in my grandmother’s wedding ring. The flowers and phrase are now on their shared grave marker. Queen Anne’s lace, sunflowers, daisies, carnations and gardenias all bring to mind a different person whom I know prefers that one flower over all others, yet I’ve never thought of asking them why they’ve selected that particular one as their favorite.
With such a variety of blooms to choose from, it’s difficult to pick just one. Though the scent of lilacs is wonderfully intoxicating, I think I’m pretty settled on wild violets. I love their purplish blue color and the way they grow unobstrusively in the woods in spring time.
Do you have a preference or know what your beloved’s favorites are?
This post was inspired by Gerry’s recent floral posts at Torch Lake Views.