The Super Sun Flower.The not so small angel – The Sunflower. When Sunflowers are mentioned, we always think of the colour yellow. But they also come in red, orange, white, pink and purple.
An extremely versatile plant that does not only shine so radiantly its seeds are; –
The staple diet for many birds and rodents.
Sunflower oil is one of the most affordable and most popular household cooking oils of all.
Many Delicious snacks have the seeds in their ingredients.Industrial use
Not all sunflower uses are for human or animal consumption. Sunflower oil can be used in the manufacturing process of some plastics, varnish and paint products. It is also interesting to note that sunflower oil can be used to make hydrogen which means that it offers an alternative to fossil fuels.
Something many people don’t know about sunflowers is that they were actually used to absorb 95% of the radioactivity in the water after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident of 1986. The roots were placed in the water and, over time, this made the water safe once more.
The sunflower has a unique tendency to turn its “head” and follow the sun across the sky, drooping down towards the ground when night falls.
Where we be without this lovely flower?
Maybe the gardeners amongst us can try to cultivate one of the rarer colours of Sunflowers next summer.
The Chrysanthemum was first cultivated in China in the 15th century BC, and has a long and fascinating history. It is one of the world’s most popular cut-flowers, owing to its variety and versatility.
Chrysanthemums come in a whole host of different colours, each one with their own symbolic meaning. Typically, though, November’s birth flower represents friendship and well-wishing. Chrysanthemums are also thought to bring good luck and joy into the home.In Japan, the flower is so revered it has a special day dedicated to its honour.
In Japan, the flower is so revered it has a special day dedicated to its honour. Chrysanthemum Day, also known as the Festival of Happiness, is celebrated on 9th September annually.
The chrysanthemum along with the South African Daisy stand out in the memories of my early childhood. The latter with its bright flowers that only opened when the sun was out, but it was the brown colour of the chrysanthemum that I found magical. Still flowering when other flowers had gone and a colour that no other flower had or so I thought.
For years I have searched for that same colour, but with no success. Although chrysanthemums come in so many shades and colours these days, the colour in my memory is nowhere to be seen. Could it be my memory that is faulty or that species is no longer grown commercially? I will keep on searching.
The flower associated with October is the Marigold or Calendula. For the Hindus, the month of October is associated with festivals like Dussehra and Diwali and Marigold Although a relatively recent introduced flower from the New World, it has come to be an auspicious flower and is part of religious ceremonies.
The Marigold brightens up any garden with many shades of orange and yellow.
Not only an amazing flower to look at this species has many hidden qualities beneficial to man. This plant has been highly valued by herbal healers of centuries.
In gardening terms this plant attracts beneficial insects and pollinators to the garden and deters unwanted pests. Not only species from the insect world, but also cats, rabbits and deer.
THE ASTER. (MICHAELMAS DAISY)
These delightful flowers bloom all year round and are one of the most vibrant in the autumn months, making them the perfect choice for a September birthday.
The flower is said to represent both love and daintiness. The flowers are also associated with wisdom, valor and faith, making them a great choice for dear friends and family members.
Reminiscent of a daisy, the aster is named after the Greek word for ‘star’ and, if you look at the shape of the flower, it’s clear to see why.
On a personal note, although I have Asters flowering in the garden each year I never feel I get the best out of them. Maybe that is because another attribute to the flower is ‘patience’ something I have little off.
One flower that was definitely sent to cheer us up is the Pansy. This species looks like a human face smiling at us in different colours and markings. You can have pansies in flower the four seasons of the year in your garden. Although I find that they can struggle in hot summers.
The pansy is edible and was grown as a herbal medicine by the Greeks. It therefore represents natural healing energy.
A few years ago, a grandfather who, after being in a road accident was six-weeks in a coma. When he came out of his long sleep the first thing that he focused on was a yellow and blue pansy sitting in an egg cup on the bedside cabinet. He said that it was the most welcoming sight he had ever seen. Every day since the accident, his six-year-old grandson had turned up at the hospital with a pansy his grandfather’s favourite flower.
Recently, two thousand people were asked to name their favourite flower and I was surprised that the snowdrop was not in the top thirty. Although this little flower may not have featured in the survey, I am sure it would top the most welcome and the most talked about flower.
After a cold, dark winter, the sighting of a snowdrop in bloom will lift most hearts. A sign of hope that the cold and darkness will soon be behind us and spring will be with us. And how many once seeing their first snowdrop do not go around telling others of their sighting.
The snowdrop is a symbol of hope. Just several centuries or more back with no street lighting, central heating and food being scarce in the winter. What a terrible and depressing time …. Then suddenly the first snowdrop is blooming is spotted. Just imagine the joy and happiness that would have spread among communities. Soon light, colour, warmth and an abundance of food will be with them.
Most legends look at this little flower in a positive way, but not so in the Victorian era. To the Victorians, the snowdrop represented death and even considered it bad luck to bring snowdrops into the house. The sight of a single snowdrop bloom was considered an omen of death.
These days I am sure we all look on the snowdrop as ‘a new beginning’.