Wednesday, July 14, 2010

tell the gardener...

"Tell the gardener I shall expect everything that a Garden ought to produce, in the most ample manner."
~George Washington to William Pearce, November 23, 1794

"Set out the Palmeto Royal in my garden...and put the box in which the Magnolia, live oak, and sower oranges were in the area in front of the Green House."
~Diary of George Washington, May 23, 1785

This is one of my favorite photos of the gardens at Mt. Vernon. See the necessary (aka bathroom) in the corner? Seems like George thought of everything:) It's Wednesday here, the sun is shining, I'm nearly through my final edit of The Colonel's Lady, and I just might get a chance to go out into my own garden. The peas, beans, potatoes, onions and wildflowers are up. My favorite rose, Cecile Bruner, with its tiny pink buds and blossoms, just finished blooming but we have another rose with blossoms the size of a dinner plate! And the boys are loving the raspberries being ripe and hunting in the woods for wild blackberries.

I just became reacquainted with the fact that flowers have meanings. In olden days people made much of this. One of my favorites, lily of the valley, signifies Christ's second coming. Not sure why but it's interesting. Do you have a favorite flower? Know its meaning?

~Happy Wednesday~


  1. My favorite are white & pale pink tea roses. I love learning the meanings of flowers.

    I love Audrey Hepburn's Gardens of the World DVDs. Love the Formal Gardens DVD. Audrey just seems so natural for showcasing beautiful gardens.

  2. I admire anyone who can garden and am thankful that I reap the sensory benefits of a well-tended garden. As for a favorite flower, I've always loved lilacs as they usher in spring with their fragrant blossoms. I had to look up the meaning: youthful innocence and first love. I think that's very appropriate.

  3. Happy Wednesday Laura!
    That picture is simply beautiful! Love the quotes, too! I'm so blessed that the sun is shining for you :) And, WOW, forget about a green thumb, you must have a green hand, LOL! All we have in my yard is a peach tree, string beans, and the Italian staples- tomatoes, basil and parsley :)

    Oh, and I just love all flowers, but if I had to pick just one, it would definitely be the Rose. Everything about them speaks of beauty. It's amazing how the thorns of a rose can be so sharp, yet, the petals of a rose are baby soft. They are strong and enduring, yet, delicate and fleeting. And as far as the meaning, I don't think there is another flower that can speak the way a rose can. Every color has a different meaning.

    Rose is also my middle name and I just recently learned that the rose is June's flower (and I'm a June baby!) LOL, so I guess I was destined for a rose to be my favorite ;)

    Praying for you as you finish your final edit of TCL- how exciting! And hoping you get that chance to enjoy your garden in the warm sunshine today!

    Amanda Stanley

  4. I tried commenting earlier, but my wireless kept kicking me off! Ugh!

    I love hearing about your garden. I have four measly little tomato plants, as far as food, but my petunias are gorgeous!

    My favorite flower would have to be the Daffodil. I love when Bullwinkle waxes poetical about them, I love when I spot the first one, and I love driving along a local stretch of road where someone actually planted daffodils all along about a 2-mile stretch. Absolutely breathtaking.

    I looked up the meaning, and as I expected, it was "rebirth and new beginnings." They also signify "good fortune," but if you give someone a bouquet, give them more than one! A bunch of daffodils is good luck. A single blossom signifies bad fortune! :)

    Happy Wednesday, Laura!

  5. Lol, I wish I could tell someone to make my garden abundant and awesome and it would get done ;) George, you lucky duck! ;)
    I loooove flowers! I worked at a flower nursery all through college. To me gardening is like a grand experiment. just throw them in together, see what happens. There are casualties and happy surprises. Thats gardening!
    My favorite the wild gangly beauty of poppies. Love heirloom style roses, and I have a shrub of roses that are the same kind that I had at my wedding-- Granada Roses. Dark bright pink with orangey yellow centers. Perfect for a fall wedding :)

  6. Such a pretty post today!
    I don't have a garden or any flowers, but my dream is to someday have a butterfly garden.

    I love Lily of the Valley, too. It was my wedding flower when Brad and I remarried. Another meaning for it is "the return of happiness" and it was very fitting. My Nana had loads of Lily of the Valley so it reminds me of her.

    I have a nice little hardcover book on my bedside table about the meaning of flowers.

  7. I want a garden like that!!!! Here's a historical question for you just because you might know the answer in passing. Were there any female gardeners back in history? I mean offical gardeners of the manor houses -- not just a home garden. It just struck me that in every historical book I've ever read the gardners are always men.

    My favourite flower is lavendar and it means devotion. I'm having problems with mine this year so I wonder if that means my devotion is slipping? Or maybe a warning that someone devoted to me won't be for much longer???? Ack!

  8. What a lovely garden! Apt for me today as I've been concentrating on a character who is a gardener!

    I think it is very telling of my nature to say that my favorite flowers are wildflowers. You know the messy, crazy, multi-colored ones that grow by the side of the road. I particularly like a mix of purple, orange, yellow and pink.

    I love Washington's garden and would love to visit there one day.

  9. Julia,
    Oh, I love tea roses, too. They are so petite and beautiful! And you've named my very favorite actress (next to Grace Kelly). The DVDs you mention sound wonderful and I'm going to look them up. I always learn so much from my dear readers:) Bless you!

  10. Brenda,
    Love the meaning ~ that is truly perfect for the lilac. I think those are lilacs framing the photo in the posted pic? That's what drew my eye when I first saw it. The roof of the necessary even has a lilac hue:)
    Lilacs are one of my favorites, too. We have several here and I love the double whites. Not sure of their true name but the fragrance is heavenly!

  11. Good morning, Amanda! The rose is amazing in all its forms, from miniature to the gargantuan ones like we have here by our greenhouse. How neat that your middle name is Rose! You probably smiled at baby Rosebud in the book:) I didn't get into the garden yesterday though I sat on the deck editing and looked out on it ~ so guess that counts somewhat! Hoping there's lots of sun and roses in your immediate future. Happy Thursday!

  12. Oh Regina,
    That's so interesting about the one daffodil ~ there must be some hidden story behind that:) I'm with you on petunias and daffs in a huge array. In our little town here they line the sidewalks with masses of daffodils and you are so right ~ they are a sight to behold in spring! I love the double ones and the ones that have the fringed edges, like someone cut them with pinking shears! There's an old homestead near here and the heirloom daffodils there actually smell as sweet as a rose. Amazing.

  13. Oh, your Granada roses sound so colorful and beautiful ~ perfect for a wedding! Wonder if they have any connection to Granada, Spain which is where my brother lives? You must have a green thumb as I've seen pics of your beautiful lawn and flowers and shrubs around your house! It's no surprise you worked in a nursery during college. The funny thing is that I did, too!

  14. Carla,
    YES! Is there anything as lovely and magical as a butterfly garden? Don't think so! I love hearing the meaning behind lily of the valley ~ I think it belongs in a book! Some of my favorite books are flower books. I even sneak blossoms between the pages to dry. The little tea roses are so sweet when you save them and they even retain their fragrance!

  15. Kav,
    As always, you give me a good chuckle. I hope your devotees will remain devoted! I am one of them:) If it's any consolation, my lavender is not looking very well either. I gave up planting it directly in the ground as it is so wet here. Now it's in big tubs and was looking sweet for a couple of months but alas...

    Your question about female gardeners in history just fascinates me. I am sure there were some though the ones I've researched, like Bertram in Pennsylvania, are male. Years ago I began a story about a young woman who traveled from America to England and began propogating flowers between 2 continents, etc. Sweet! Your question brings that all back. I'm going to research that female gardener angle some more...

    And I'll let you know what I discover! Enjoy those carpet roses:)

  16. Mary,
    Love your description ~ "messy, crazy, multi-colored"! Wildflowers are breathtaking. I love coming across them in unexpected places. We tried to grow them here directly in our garden but they petered out after a few years.
    Love hearing about your WIP and gardener! Praying it's a great writing/reading day for you today.

  17. Love the photo, Laura. Such a beautiful garden.

    I must confess, I do not have a green thumb at all. I love beautiful flowers, but I have yet to be really successful with them. I really love petunias. My high school's agriculture class/club always sold flowers every May. I used to buy a single petunia for both my mom and grandmother for Mother's Day. Those flowers always turned into the most beautiful hanging baskets.

    I have to admit your garden beans sound good. I'm thinking of buying some this weekend.

    BTW, may I please ask for prayer. Don't want to go into details, but I'm having a work issue right now. Thanks!

  18. Michelle,
    Thanks so much for asking ~ it's a privilege to pray for you. I do and now that I know the need, I'll continue. Psalm 62:8