The stanzas just read were included in Riley’s book of love lyrics published in 1883.<span> </span>This book also includes a number of poems where roses are used to symbolize his beloved.</span>
Alfred, Lord Tennyson used a garden metaphor when he wrote about an old year coming to a close. He called his poem, "Song."
Antique shops and used book stores often have books on flower arranging that were published many years ago. I recently found a 1950s book by the well known English flower arranger, Constance Spry.
There may be some flower gardeners on your gift list this December, and if so I can assure you, they love flower-related offerings. Flower enthusiasts love holiday gift certificates so that they can dream all winter about the plants they can buy.
One of the disadvantages of gardening in a cold climate is that we have no flowers in our gardens at this time of the year. Of course there are always flowers growing somewhere all year round, so we can always buy them even when we can't grow them.
November is the month when flower gardeners who have not yet cut down all of their herbaceous plants may still find a few specimens in the garden for dried bouquets.
As temperatures cool outside, gardeners who love flowers are still thinking about them and reading about them. I have been reading about a new hydrangea that should be available in our local nurseries next spring.
As Thanksgiving approaches, it is time to think about making floral centerpieces for the table. So that guests can see each other across the table, centerpieces should be low. We use a shallow low container, such as a bowl, and a block of oasis, the green florist foam into which the stems are set.
Perhaps the adage "absence makes the heart grow fonder" applies also to flowers, predictably seasonal since gardens have been described as metaphors for life. "To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven."
There are always some nice days in November that entice gardeners outside to rake leaves, cut down perennials, clean tools and roll up hoses. Fall, however, is a season where we must be motivated by long term garden goals, as tidiness not flowers, is the immediate gratification.
This would, of course, be a major strategic shift for me as I have been trying to have something always in bloom in every bed. But maybe shifting the focus of attention could be a way of cultivating the genius of the ground.
The flowers look a little like those of "Clara Curtis" but "Sheffield" is much more vigorous and the flowers are large with great substance, and they last two weeks in a vase.
The smaller alliums bloom later than the giants. Try the ‘drumstick', a dark purple, which blooms in July and naturalizes well, or Allium ‘Moly Jeannine', which throws up 2 inch umbels of bright yellow florets in May. There are so many to choose from, and the more you have the more you will want.
There are some perennials that provide an added bonus of foliage that changes color in the fall. For example, some species of Amsonia feature brilliant yellow foliage.
Shrubs are invaluable in the garden, and one shrub, Callicarpa, lights up the fall landscape. It is often referred to as "Beauty Berry" or "Jewel Berry" because it is the berries, rather than the flowers, that make it sensational.
Cool fall days give gardeners the incentive to divide perennials, so the new starts can be established before the winter. The hardy geraniums, commonly knows as cranesbills, are easy to divide and good weed inhibitors.
So much has been written about color in the garden, but in recent years there has been a trend to include touches of black.
Helenium is a plant that was apparently named for Helen of Troy, so some plant collector must have been a classicist at heart as it is a native of North and Central America. Unfortunately its common name is sneezyweed, which is unfair as well as misleading as the plants do not cause sneezing.
The name helianthus is from the Greek "helias" meaning sun and "anthos" flower. Members of the aster family, these natives are commonly called sunflowers. They are usually tall, often coarse plants with daisy like yellow and gold flowers.
Interestingly, different colored blues can usually be grouped together quite successfully, and clump of blue in the distance seems to melt the boundary of a garden and creates a feeling of spaciousness.
He finally decided that the secret was overlapping and interlacing colonies of plants that bloomed at different seasons so that no space in the bed was ever vacant. He selected plants with a view towards harmony of growth and color across all seasons.
In her book "The Once and Future Gardener," Virginia Clayton provides examples of articles that were published in popular American gardens magazines between 1900 and 1940. One article by Helen Wilson focused on spire-like flowers.
There are many species of achillea, commonly known as Yarrow. They are all members of the Aster family and the botanical name commemorates the Greek hero Achilles, who is said to have used achillea plants to heal the wounds of the soldiers after battles.
Learn all about Queen Anne's Lace on this, Focus on Flowers.
Sometimes there are wet spots in a garden that need permanent plantings to convert a liability into an asset. Ligularias are perennials that can be left undisturbed for years without needing to be divided.
Except for needing some pruning from time to time, Weigela are really undemanding shrubs and also readily available at a reasonable price.
There are about 40 Eupatarium species of native North American wildflowers available and they like room to romp and form large clumps. They are all members of the Aster genus and bear clusters of small fuzzy flowers in summer and early fall.
Learn all about the Climbing Hydrangea, on this Focus on Flowers.
Catnip, also known as Catmint, is aptly named. Cats love it and it is a member of the mint family. This plant's botanical name is Nepeta. Nepetas specialize in blue flowers and strong smelling leaves, so deer dislike them, despite their alluring effect on domestic cats.
There are about 300 different Campanulas, commonly known as “bellflowers.”
Learn all about the Peony, Indiana's state flower, on this Focus on Flowers.
It is difficult to start from seed so buying a plant is the way to go. It is a good spreader. In spring the dainty, green leaves are topped with little flowers that look like snow flakes.
Learn about the Virginia Bluebells on this Focus on Flowers.
Learn all about the royal Fritillaria, on this Focus on Flowers.
The Vinca minor, also known as common periwinkle, is best known for being an easy ground cover with periwinkle blue flowers in spring.
We all need allies in the battle against weeds. Luckily, the woodland plant Epimedium helps fight off weeds in the early spring.
Its botanical name is "Taraxacum officinalis" but it is often called "blowball" because of its efficient round seed head which it holds aloft.
With constant, changing weather patterns, March flowers have it rough. Learn about the "Brave Flowers of March" on this Focus on the Flowers.
No gardener or flower lover in this area can imagine spring without daffodils. Yet in parts of the globe where winters are not cold enough to chill the bulbs.
Gardeners are anxious for spring at this time of year. However, there are some preliminary tasks you can carry out to get ready for the season.
In late February in my Midwestern garden, I delight in the green, sprouting foliage of little bulbs. It is evidence that the tiniest flowers are the bravest.
Make sure you follow certain steps so that your cut flowers last in your home until the end of winter.
Spring is loaded with metaphoric and religious meaning. What meaning does it have for you?
Selecting flowers to buy in February is wonderful therapy to offset the bleakness of winter. Remember some of these ideas when buying flowers...
Ever wonder about the Latin names of the plants and flowers in your garden? Carl Linnaeus, an 18th century Swedish botanist, is the one responsible.
Flowering trees are great treasures in a garden and an asset in any season, whether they're flowered or bare.
Even in the Midwest centers for creating ceramics were established, inspired by the 19th century Arts and Crafts Movement. Both men and women flourished as skilled potters in places such as Rookwood Pottery in Cincinnati Ohio and the home of the Overbeck sisters in Cambridge City, Indiana.