About The Growth Of The European White Flower Poppy The Symbolism of Favorite Garden Flowers

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The Symbolism of Favorite Garden Flowers

Some of the most common garden flowers have fascinating histories and symbolic meanings. Flowers have been associated with symbolism for thousands of years. Flowers are an important part of our life from birth to death. Many popular garden flowers are associated with a wealth of stories and legends, including foxgloves, lupines, poppies, sunflowers, sweet peas, tulips and zinnias.

Foxglove flowers have both positive and negative symbolic meanings. It is said that sometimes they hurt and sometimes they heal. In the language of flowers, foxglove flowers are associated with innocence. On the plus side, the common name is said to derive from “people’s gloves”, the “people” referring to helpful fairies.

In medieval gardens dedicated to Mother Mary, foxgloves were called “Our Lady’s Gloves” or “Gloves of the Virgin”. The scientific name is digitalis, a reference to the presence of powerful chemicals that can cure heart conditions if taken properly but destroy them if taken in large amounts.

Foxglove grows in soils rich in iron and coal. New coal fields can sometimes be discovered by finding foxgloves growing together. Foxgloves are perennials that grow in temperate zones and like shade, part shade, and sun.

Foxgloves come in white, yellow, pink, rose, red, lavender and purple. Foxglove can be propagated either by seed or division of plant clumps. Plants range in height from 2-6′ depending on the variety.

The flowers look best in the back of the garden and bloom in a pyramid shape with the lowest flowers opening first and the buds closing at the top. Add some foxgloves to your garden this year to invite the fairies to live in your yard!

Lupines are symbols of imagination. The name “lupinus” means “of wolves” due to the ancient misconception that lupins rob the soil of nutrients. The fact is that lupines add nitrogen to the soil. The Romans used lupine for fertilizer and ate the high-protein seeds.

In the United States, lupines grow well in the Pacific Northwest, West Coast, New England and other northern states. They cultivate loaves and wildflowers. Lupines also grow in abundance throughout Europe as far north as Norway.

Lupines come in blue, pink, white, yellow and purple. Flowers are useful for dyeing cloth. The seeds aid in digestion and are used in skin care to remove blemishes from the face. The Romans used flat seeds for theater money.

Lupine is the only food for the caterpillar of the corner blue butterfly. In mid-April the larvae crawl up the stems of wild lupine to feed on the new leaves.

Lupine flowers have a honey-like scent, a wonderful addition to any garden. The magnificent flower spikes can be 36-60 inches tall. Lupines require full sun, rich soil and plenty of moisture. They can grow in poor soil if the soil is not too alkaline. Add some imagination to your garden with a whole array of colorful, gorgeous lupines!

Poppies symbolize beauty, magic, comfort, fertility and eternal life. Egyptians included poppies in funerals and burial tombs. The Greeks used the poppy in the temples of Demeter, the goddess of fertility, and Diana, the goddess of the hunt. Poppy represents sleep, rest and relaxation. In modern times, the poppy has become associated with the fields of Flanders as a symbol of those who died in the First World War.

Poppies do best in cold weather. They are both a cultivated flower and a hearty wildflower. Although poppies are perennial, they are often grown as annuals. Poppies are grown in Europe, the Orient and America. The poppy is the state flower of California.

Poppy has been used as a spice, medicine and health tonic for centuries. Poppies tea is used for its calming effect. The Oriental poppy is the only poppy that contains opium, but other poppies also have a mild sedative effect. Water made from poppy seeds is said to remove wrinkles and refresh the skin. Poppy seeds can also be used for color and to add flavor and texture to breads and pastries.

Poppy should be watered moderately and kept in full sun. Poppies grow between 2′ and 5′ tall and bloom up to 12 inches. Colors include crimson red, deep orange, light orange, white, yellow, purple, and pink with black centers. There are single leaves and double leaves. For a bright, attractive addition to your garden, add a border of bright poppies.

Sunflowers are symbols of worship. Sunflowers turn their heads toward the sun, which is the origin of their common name. Sunflowers belong to the genus Helianthus, a reference to Helios, the sun god.

Sunflowers are native to the United States and are the state flower of Kansas. Sunflowers generally grow in scrubland and dry areas. Sunflowers vary greatly in size depending on their favorable genetic makeup, but can reach about 10′ in height.

Sunflowers have recently been bred to produce smaller varieties for garden use. Petals were originally very small and irregular, so attempts have also been made to increase the size and number of petals. Some double-petaled varieties have also been produced, with variations in the color of the center (brown to black) and the outer petals (honey, beige, pink cream, soft yellow, pale pink).

Sunflower seeds are full of healthy fats, vitamin E, protein, fiber and minerals. Sunflower oil can be used for cooking. Sunflowers also serve as animal feed, mainly for cattle and birds. Sunflower seeds have been used by Native Americans for blue or black dyes and the petals for yellow dyes. Smaller sunflower varieties are often used as cut flowers for bouquets and floral arrangements.

Try planting sunflowers along a fence or in the back of your garden for a beautiful, highly useful addition to your garden.

The language of flowers associates the following meanings with sweet peas: happy joy, tender joy, goodbye, departure, farewell and thanks for the beautiful time. Sweet peas were very popular in the late 1800s and are often considered a floral symbol for Edwardian England. Sweet peas are the flowers most closely associated with April.

Sweet peas come in over 250 varieties. Annual varieties prefer full sun, regular water and humus-rich soil. Perennial sweet peas thrive in average soil with moderate watering. Sweet peas are incredibly fragrant and are originally grown in the fields of Sicily. Most varieties grow 1-5′ tall, although some can reach 6′.

Sweet peas can be used successfully as cut flowers and in corsages and boutonnieres. The most famous and perhaps most important use of the sweet pea was the extensive genetic studies conducted by Gregor Mendel.

Tulips generally symbolize fame and perfect love. The symbolic meanings of tulips also vary depending on their color. The red tulip means “trust me” and is a declaration of love. Multicolored tulips mean “Your eyes are beautiful.” A yellow tulip means “sunshine in your smile.” And cream-colored tulips mean “I will love you forever.” The major national symbol of Holland, rivaling wooden shoes and windmills, is the tulip!

Tulips are originally from Persia and were brought to the Netherlands in the 17th century. About 150 types of tulips grow in the wild, especially in mountainous, cool regions. Once the tulips were hybridized, a vast array of colors and petals were created.

Tulips derive their name from the headdress worn by many Middle Easterners known as a turban or taliban. In Latin, it translates to “tulip”.

Tulipmania reigned in the Netherlands in 1636-37. Tulips were symbols of wealth and status and were traded like currency. A bed of tulips can buy a small house. Some of the most valuable tulips were even more valuable and one bulb could be purchased for a large house and all the land, furniture and other belongings.

When the tulip market crashed, it was similar to the stock market crash of the 20th century. Due to the bursting of this bubble, thousands of businessmen were lost.

Today, the tulip remains a favorite flower of spring. Almost any garden can be graced with this beautiful, easily recognizable flower.

Symbolic meanings associated with zinnias are thoughts of absent friends, lasting affection, stability, goodness, and daily remembrance. Zinnia is the state flower of Indiana.

The original zinnia was discovered in the jungles of Mexico in the early 1500s. They were so dull and unattractive that the name Aztec meant “eyesore” to them. When it was introduced in Europe, it was equally despised and referred to as “everyman’s flower” and “the flower of the poor house”. Zinnia’s name is Dr. Named for Gottfried Zinn, a German whose hobby was breeding wildflowers.

The common name, garden cinderella, reflects the level of later transformation of the zinnia. In the late 1800s a French botanist created the first double zinnias with bright colors. In the early 20th century, Luther Burbank created the first zinnia-like dahlias. The number of colors and flowers available today is amazing.

Zinnias thrive in hot climates and cannot thrive in cold climates. Zinnias should not be overwatered and do not like mold. An amazing feature of zinnias is that the flowers that open first stay fresh and bloom after the new flowers open.

The next time you are deciding what flowers to plant in your garden, remember the amazing symbolism of flowers!

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