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  • Writer's pictureFellow Gardener Sara

Healing Flowers

In the 1930s a little boy sat in a glass-walled sanitorium ward, isolated and sick with Scarlet Fever. Home felt very far away, and in his young mind the hours felt eternal and uncertain.

Hearing voices bouncing over the high, glass walls he suddenly saw his beloved Nana, who had travelled all the way to the city to see her grandson. She was clutching something beside her purse; it was a bouquet of Lillies of the Valley. Nana smiled her love at him through the glass. Unable to hold or comfort her grandchild, she aimed carefully and tossed the bouquet, tied with a ribbon, over the high glass wall. Scrambling from his perch on the sterile bed, the little boy picked up the flowers, noticing every detail; how delicate the tiny, spilling cups were with frilly edges, the slender, dark leaves that were slippery in his childish hands. He inhaled the delicious scent that only Lillies of the Valley could make, looked up, and grinned.

Nearly 90 years later my gentle and strong Grandfather still recalls this incident from his childhood. In memory of his beloved Nana and the joy those flowers gave him in isolation he cultivates Lillies of the Valley to this day.

It's 2023 and a grandmother is looking, looking for the flowers that remind her of a beloved grandchild lost. She comes to our greenhouse searching. Forget-Me-Nots. Her kind face is earnest, she clutches her purse to her chest as she steps through the high-arch-walled greenhouses, smiling her love as she speaks of her grandson. Only Forget-Me-Nots will do, those simple, yet stunning little flowers with their miniature faces of laughing blue and violet. Those fresh green leaves so smooth and cooling in the heat. A tear trembles on her lashes as she carefully takes a plant in her arms. Unable to hold or comfort her grandchild anymore, she will make sure he will never be forgotten.

Flowers, so much more than beauty for the eye or to encourage pollinators, repel pests or make tea. Healing over the centuries, they have eased the ache of countless hearts, been used to express love or comfort and remember loved ones we've lost.

As your flowers hopefully grow well, may you take the time to pick a bouquet or two to share with someone you love. Your simple gesture may bless them deeply for many years to come!

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Cathy Comfort
Cathy Comfort
23 במרץ

Well, now you've made me cry ... and recall how much I love both these old-fashioned little blooms. Cathy Comfort

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