Flowers I Flowers II Flowers III Flowers IV Flowers V
"Every child is born a naturalist. His eyes are, by nature, open to the glories of the stars, the beauty of the flowers, and the mystery of life."
'Amen!' of Nature is always a flower."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes
Eighty percent of the world's rose species come from Asia.
try to force anything. Let life be a deep let-go. See [God/Spirit/All That Is] opening millions of flowers
every day without forcing the buds."
- Bhagwan Shree Rayneesh
"To analyze the charms of flowers is like dissecting music;
it is one of those things which it is far better to enjoy,
than to attempt to fully understand."
- Henry T. Tuckerman
"In joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends."
- Kozuko Okakura
"I didn't know the names
of the flowers - now
my garden is gone."
- Allen Ginsberg
"The gardens that make us
happiest flourish because we have taken the time to make sure
they feed our souls and fill a special place in our lives. Sometimes you have to
what you really want from your garden ...
once the beds are laid out and the rose bushes planted."
- Lindley Karstens
"You love the roses - so do
I. I wish
The sky would rain down roses, as they rain
From off the shaken bush. Why will it not?
Then all the valley would be pink and white
And soft to tread on. They would fall as light
As feathers, smelling sweet; and it would be
Like sleeping and like waking, all at once!"
- George Eliot, Roses
"In the 1600's, a language of flowers
developed in Constantinople and in the poetry of Persia. Charles II introduced the Persian poetry to Europe, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu brought the flower language from Turkey to England in 1716. It spread to France and became a handbook of 800 floral messages known as the
Book Le Language des Fleurs. Lovers exchanged messages as they gave each other selected flowers or bouquets. A full red rose meant beauty. Red and white mean unity. Crocus said "abuse not", while a white rosebud warns that one is too young for love. Yellow roses were for jealousy, yellow iris for passion, filbert for reconciliation and ivy for marriage."
- Valentine's Day Love Traditions
of This Flower is to bloom."
- Alice Walker
"The actual flower is the plant's highest fulfillment, and are not here exclusively for herbaria, county floras and plant geography: they are here first of all for delight. - John Ruskin
"A morning-glory at my window satisfies me
more than the metaphysics of books."
- Walt Whitman
"For most of us who are
intimidated by theories of garden design, the cottage garden provides immediate appeal, since it is a horticultural rather than an architectural solution to a limited area."
- Patricia Thorpe
"... the most fiendish plant I know of, the
sort of thing Beelzebub might pluck
to make a bouquet for his mother-in-law ... it looks as if it had been made
out of a sow's ear for the spathe, and the tail of a rat that died of Elephantiasis
for the spadix. The whole thing is mingling of unwholesome greens, livid purples, and pallid pinks, the livery of putrescence in fact, and it possesses and odour to match the colouring."
- E. A. Bowles, My Garden in Spring, 1914
Speaking about the Dracunculus vulgaris, syn. Arum Dracunculus (Dragon Arum)
For more suggestions from mAlice about flowers that appeal to
"Gothic" tastes be sure to visit:
Gothic Gardening: Something Wicked This Way Grows
"You love the roses--so do I.
I wish the sky would rain down roses, as they rain from off the shaken bush. Why will it not?
Then all the valley would be pink and white and soft to tread on. They would fall as light as feathers, smelling sweet: and it would be like sleeping and yet waking, all at once."
- George Eliot
"The fairest things have fleetest
Their scent survives their close:
But the rose's scent is bitterness
To him that loved the rose."
- Francis Thompson, 1859-1907
"If all our eyes had the clarity of
In a world as altered
As if by the wood betony
And all kinds of basil were the only rulers of the land
It would be good to be together
Both under and above the ground
To be sane as the madwort,
Ripe as corn, safe as sage,
Various as dusty miller and hens & chickens,
In politics as kindly fierce and dragonlike as tarragon,
Revolutionary as the lily."
- Bernadette Mayer, The Garden
"To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable
form of defeat."
- Beverley Nichols
"When Shakyamuni Buddha was at Mount
Grdhrakuta, he held up a flower to his listeners.
Everyone was silent. Only Mahakashyapa broke into a broad smile.
The Buddha said,
"I have the True Dharma Eye, the Marvelous Mind of Nirvana, the True Form of the
and the Subtle Dharma Gate, independent of words and transmitted beyond doctrine.
This I have entrusted to Mahakashyapa."
- The Mumonkan, Zen Koans, Case 6
"To create a little flower is the labor of ages."
- William Blake
"Flowers have a
mysterious and subtle influence upon the feelings, not unlike some strains of music. They relax the tenseness of the mind. They dissolve its vigor."
- Henry Ward Beecher
"As a flower that is lovely,
Colourful, and fragrant
Even so fruitful is the well-spoken word
Of one who practises it.
As from a heap of flowers
Many kinds of garlands can be made,
So many good deeds should be done
By one born a mortal.
The perfume of flower blows not against the wind,
Nor does the fragrance of sandal-wood, tagara and jasmine,
But the fragrance of the virtuous blows against the wind.
The virtuous man pervades all directions."
- Buddhist Sutra
"A lonely tulip
Dying on the dirt filled road
Never waking up"
- Allison Borowick
"Gardens and flowers
have a way of bringing people together, drawing them from their homes."
- Clare Ansberry, The Women of Troy Hill
Leaping from the Ledge of Infinite
The Unmoved Mover fell into Formlessness:
Pure silence echoed between the galaxies,
Eons of eons vanished in a second,
Withered trees bloomed in fires,
Polar mountains melted, rivers went dry,
Thusness scattered in sixty directions,
Space became Time, time became things,
Black Holes filled with Nirvana,
A billion samadhi mirrors shattered,
Galaxies snuggled within a single skull,
Many became One, One only, only One.
Then, the Divine Illuminatrix in All Beings
Opened Her clouded Eye, to see:
Flowers in the Sky.
- Michael P. Garofalo, Emptiness in Full Bloom
"An angel, legend has it, took pity on a
little shepherd girl who had
nothing to give to the Infant Jesus in his manger. The angel handed
her a weed, but first transformed it into this beautiful flower of winter... the Christmas rose, Helleborus niger.
- Allen Lacy, The Gardener's Eye, 1991, p. 14
"It is daffodil time, so the robins all cry,
For the sun’s a big daffodil up in the sky,
And when down the midnight the owl calls “to-whoo”!
Why, then the round moon is a daffodil too;
Now sheer to the bough-tops the sap starts to climb,
So, merry my masters, it’s daffodil time."
- Clinton Scollard, Daffodil Time
"What a desolate place would be a
world without flowers. It would be a face
without a smile; a feast without a welcome. Are not flowers the stars
of the earth? Are not our stars the flowers of heaven?"
- Clara L. Balfour
"In my garden there is a large place for
sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my
garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers,
and the dreams are as beautiful."
- Abram L. Urban
"How could such sweet and wholesome hours be reckoned, but in
herbs and flowers?"
- Andrew Marvell
"Moon, plum blossoms,
and the day goes."
"Compare the silent rose of the sun
And rain, the blood-rose living in its smell,
With this paper, this dust.
That states the point."
- Wallace Stevens
Made him measure it
With his fan"
"made to measure it
with a fan...
"The way in which the peony is considered as the active source of the measuring
itself is not merely good psychology, but shows us how Issa looks upon the
world and upon himself. Compared to that of the
ordinary man, human beings
and plants are much closer together in the
thought-feeling world of Issa. The
flower stands there in
its color and glory. It does not bloom to be seen, nor
it wish to blush unseen. It is not dependent upon man, but
neither is it
independent of him. Its purposeless purpose is
fulfilled in its blooming in
solitude and silence, yet when no one is gazing
upon it, it has no shape or color
or fragrance. The
flower needs the mind, and the mind needs the flower for its
fulfillment. Issa emphasizes the power and activity of the peony not only
we live in an egocentric, homocentric world, valueless and unpoetical, but also because he wishes to bring out the special nature of the peony, its power and magnificence, its lofty splendor. Is this splendor in the flower? Does Issa cause the flower to be measured, or does the flower cause Issa to measure it?"
- R. H. Blyth, Haiku, Volume 3, Summer-Autumn
"Bread feeds the body indeed, but the
flowers also feed the soul."
- The Koran
"When you have only two pennies left
in the world,
buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other."
- Chinese proverb
"The lily was created
on the third day, early in the morning when the Almighty was especially full of good ideas."
- Michael Jefferson-Brown
"As a plant produces its flower,
so the psyche creates its symbols."
- Carl G. Yung
Cloud Hands Blog
"Science, or para-science,
tells us that geraniums bloom better if they are spoken to. But a kind
word every now and then is really quite enough. Too much attention, like
too much feeding, and weeding and hoeing, inhibits and embarrasses
- Victoria Glendinning
"Just as the bee takes the nectar and
leaves without damaging the color
or scent of the flowers, so should the sage act in a village."
- Dhammapada, Sayings of the Buddha, Pali Cannon
on each thorn"
"A fairy seed I planted, so dry and
white and old, there sprang a vine
enchanted, with magic flowers of gold."
- Marjorie Barrows
"How could such sweet and wholesome
Be reckoned but with herbs and flowers?"
- Andrew Marvel
"Every rose is an autograph from the hand
of God on his world about us.
He has inscribed his thoughts in these marvelous hieroglyphics which
sense and science have, these many thousand years,
been seeking to understand."
- Theodore Parker
"Life is the flower for which
love is the honey."
- Victor Hugo
"Consider the lilies of the field, how they
grow; they neither toil nor spin;
yet I tell you,
even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."
- Bible, Matthew, 6:28-29
"There is material enough in a single flower for the ornament of a score of
- John Ruskin
"Open afresh your rounds of starry
Ye ardent Marigolds."
- John Keats
"So plant your own garden and decorate
your own soul,
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers."
- Author unknown
"To Nature the dweller in the Nile
valley linked all that
was dear to him: his happiest fetes, poetry, and love -
all were bound up with the garden and its products,
especially flowers. Few Oriental nations can think of
a festival without flowers, but nowhere are they so
completely a part of human life, and so essential,
as in [Ancient] Egypt."
- M. L. Gothein, A History of Garden Art, 1928
"One flower makes no garland."
- Proverb from Romania
"and the gray Sunflower poised against the
crackly bleak and dusty with the smut and smog
and smoke of olden locomotives in its eye--
corolla of bleary spikes pushed down and broken like
a battered crown, seeds fallen out of its face,
soon-to-be-toothless mouth of sunny air, sun-
rays obliterated on its hairy head like a dried
leaves stuck out like arms out of the stem, gestures
from the sawdust root, broke pieces of plaster
fallen out of the black twigs, a dead fly in its ear,
Unholy battered old thing you were, my sunflower O
my soul, I loved you then!
- Allen Ginsberg, Sunflower Sutra
"Full many a flower is born to blush
And waste its sweetness on the desert air."
- Thomas Gray
"The love of flowers is really the
of how to grow and understand them."
- Max Schling
"The largest single flower is the Rafflesia
or "corpse flower". They are
generally 3 feet in diameter with the record being 42 inches.
No species of wild plant produces a flower or blossom that is
absolutely black, and so far, none has been developed artificially."
- Plants and Botany Trivia
"To see the world in a grain of sand
and heaven in a wildflower,
hold infinity in the palm of your hand
and eternity in an hour."
- William Blake
"The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower."
- William Cowper
"The rose is a rose,
And was always a rose,
But the theory now goes
That the apple's a rose,
And the pear is, and so's
The plum, I suppose,
The dear only knows
What will next prove a rose,
You, of course, are a rose -
But were always a rose."
- Robert Frost, 1875-1963
"When at last I took the time to look
into the heart
of a flower, it opened up a whole new world; a world
where every country walk would be an adventure,
where every garden would become an enchanted one."
- Princess Grace of Monaco
" 'Tis the last rose of summer
Left blooming alone:
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone."
- Sir Thomas Moore
"The roses under my window make no
reference to former roses or to better ones;
they are for what they are; they exist with God today. There is no time to them.
There is simply the rose. It is perfect in every moment of its existence."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"I have a garden of my own,
Shining with flowers of every hue;
I loved it dearly while alone,
But I shall love it more with your:
And there the golden bees shall come,
In summer time at the break of morn,
And wake us with their busy hum
Around the Siha's fragrant thorn."
- Thomas Moore, The Casket, 1835
"O Rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy,
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy."
- William Blake
"What a pity flowers
can utter no sound!—A singing rose, a whispering violet, a murmuring honeysuckle ...
oh, what a rare and exquisite miracle would these be!"
- Henry Ward Beecher
"The grape Hyacinth is the favorite
spring flower of my garden - but no! I though
a minute ago the Scilla was! and what place has the Violet? the Flower de Luce? I cannot decide, but this I know - it is some blue flower."
- Alice Morse Earle
"To win the trophy of enchanting grace:
Ranks of Carnations, to all ladies dear,
Of whose sweet taste I write approval here,
For these pre-eminent myself I think,
As long as you don't overdue the pink."
- Ruth Pitter, 1897-1992, Other People's Glasshouses, 1941
How to Tell the Birds from the
- Illustrated verse by Robert W. Wood, 1907
Every Flower must grow through Dirt.
"Just living is not enough ...
One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower."
- Hans Christian Anderson
"Correct handling of flowers
refines the personality."
- Bokuyo Takeda
"Through primrose tufts,
in that sweet bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And 'tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes."
- William Wordsworth
"The flower that follows the sun does
so even on cloudy days."
- Robert Leighton (1611-1684)
"People from a planet without flowers
would think we must be
mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us."
- Iris Murdoch
"God gave us our memories so that we
might have roses in December."
- James Matthew Barrie, (1860-1937)
"Tis better to buy a small bouquet
And give to your friend this very day,
Than a bushel of roses white and red
To lay on his coffin after hes dead."
- Irish Proverbs
"And these memories and associations
that our flowers give us are independent
of seasons or of age. They come to us as well in autumn and winter, in spring
and summer; and as to age, the older we get the more, from the very
nature of things, do these memories increase and multiply."
- Canon Ellacombe, In a Gloucestershire Garden, 1895
Qui pingit florem, floris non pingit odorem.
Who paints the flower does not paint the flower's fragrance.
"Flowers seem intended for a solace of ordinary humanity."
- John Ruskin
"Give me artificial flowers -
porcelain and metal glories - neither
fading nor decaying, forms unaging.
Flowers of the splendid gardens of another place,
where Forms and Styles and Knowledge dwell.
I love flowers made of glass or gold,
true Art's true gifts,
their painted hues more beautiful than nature's,
worked in nacre and enamel,
with perfect leaves and branches."
- K. P. Kavafis,
"In last night's storm the beautiful
blossoms all fell off. Ah! What a shame.
When it rains for two or three days, again the weeds have grown up. Oh, well."
- Zen Master Hakuun Yasutani, 1885 - 1973; Flowers Fall, 1996, Translated by Paul Jaffe
Months and Seasons
Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Verses, Lore, Myths, Holidays
Celebrations, Folklore, Reading, Links, Quotations
Information, Weather, Gardening Chores
Compiled by Mike Garofalo
"The Kingdom of Flowering Plants holds
a special compassion
for human travail. Because of this, the essences of flowers support
us with a special compassion through our earthbound transformation.
Flower essences contain the vibratory qualities of the flowers,
and are made by infusing the flower into spring water
under sun or moon light."
- Flowers of the Soul
"The Chrysanthemum, the Flower of Happiness, was so
revered that in Japan
only the nobles could grow it. It has been grown for over 2,000 years all
throughout in the Far East. It has come to mean love and truthfulness.
We may see it carved on the throne of the Emperor of Japan
and on many Chinese artifacts."
- Flowers: Myths, Legends and Traditions
"Some lives, like evening primroses, blossom most beautifully in the evening of life."
border of daffodils
behind barbed wire
- Michael P. Garofalo, Cuttings
"And over one more set of hills, along
the last roses have opened their factories of
sweetness and are giving it back to the world.
If I had another life I would want to spend it all
on some unstinting happiness."
- Mary Oliver, Roses, Late Summer
"Another thing much too commonly seen, is an
aberration of the human mind which
otherwise I should have been ashamed to warn you of. It is technically called
carpet-gardening. Need I explain it further? I had rather not, for when I
it, even when I am quite alone, I blush with shame at the thought."
- William Morris, Hope and Fears for Art, 1860
"The foxglove, with it's stately bells
Of purple, shall adorn thy dells."
- D. M. Moir, The Birth of the Flowers
"O frost bitten blossoms,
That are unfolding your wings
From out the envious black branches.
Bloom quickly and make much of the sunshine.
The twigs conspire against you!
They hold you from behind."
- William Carlos Williams, Aux Imagistes, 1914
"Science, or para-science, tells us
that geraniums bloom better
if they are spoken to. But a kind word every now and then is
really quite enough. Too much attention, like too much feeding,
and weeding and hoeing, inhibits and embarrasses them."
- Victoria Glendinning, Green Words, 1986
"Won't you come into my garden?
I would like my roses to see you."
- Richard Sheridan
"Bloom where you are planted!"
- Mary Engelbert
"And why worry about clothes? Look how
the wild flowers grow:
they do not worry or make clothes for themselves. But I tell you
that not even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes
as beautiful as one of these flowers."
- Bible, Matthew 6: 28, 29, & 30
"I appreciate the misunderstanding I have had with Nature
my perennial border. I think it is a flower garden; she thinks it is a meadow lacking grass, and tries to correct the error."
- Sara Stein, My Weeds, 1988
"Art is the unceasing effort to
compete with the beauty of flowers
and never succeeding."
- Marc Chagall
"I haven't much time to be fond of anything . . . But when I have a moment's fondness to bestow, most times . . . the roses get it."
- William Wilkie Collins
Cloud Hands Blog
What kind of flowers do you give to
"The original Greek meaning of the
word anthology is
a collection or gathering of flowers in bloom."
- Jane Garmey
"One day when I was young, and walking
with a friend, a field dry
as straw bloomed with flowers. "Oh, glory!" we breathed, my good
friend and I, for the flowers blazed like suns and fire and rainbows.
They sprang from folds between hillsides, peeked from pockets of
shade. Spiraling - dancing - they followed us home..."
- Maggie Streincrohn Davis
"A garden of roses is a fragrant piece
A garden without roses is a sorry thing."
- Matthew A. R. Bassity
Next Page: Flowers - Quotes for Gardeners, Part III
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