The symbol of communication

This beautiful garden is in the historic district of Yorktown, Virginia.  May 2013

This beautiful garden is in the historic district of Yorktown, Virginia. May 2013

“Since Iris is the Greek goddess for the Messenger of Love, her sacred flower is considered the symbol of communication and messages.”
Hana no Monogatari

One year ago today I sent a special birthday wish to one of the most faithful readers of this blog.  You don’t see her name in the comments or hear much about her, because she is a private person who prefers (as many do) to communicate with me individually about the blog.  But she is one of the people I think of often as I write these posts, because her continual encouragement has meant a lot to me.

Last year I wrote about butterflies as a tribute to her, because I know she enjoys them.  This year I am posting a photo of irises, another gem of nature that she loves.  I hope they will be a beautiful “Happy Birthday” message of love to her!

What is your favorite flower?  Do you know the myths and stories about what it represents in the “language of flowers?”

One year ago today:

The perturbing mystery of metamorphosis



  1. HarryS

    🙂 I never met a flower that I didn’t love! 🙂
    When I was just a toddler I tagged along with my Jammie (Grandmother) in her flower garden!
    This ranks real high on my earliest memory list.

    • Harry, that is a wonderful memory to have! I agree with you, ALL the flowers are totally captivating. We are so lucky that we can walk into most any grocery store nowadays and see all sorts of fresh flowers that are native to places all over the world. The colors are dazzling and the endless shapes and sizes are fascinating.

  2. bobmielke

    I photograph so many types of flowers it’s difficult to pin down one flower. I love dahlias, daylilies and iris. That’s as close as I can come.

    • Bob, as so often happens with WordPress, your comment came through somewhat jumbled so I tried to piece it back together – let me know if I put the words in the right places! I think you meant for dahlias to be on the list but it was back in the middle of a word early in the sentence. This happens to me when I am typing sometime and I never have figured out what causes it. Anyway, I agree with you about the flowers. At one time or another I have grown all three of those, though I have not been able to get the gorgeous dahlias here that I used to get in California. Over the years I have probably taken more photos of flowers than of anything else except my kids. 😀

      • bobmielke

        WordPress can be trying at times. The new version require I hit the Publish button twice, otherwise it’s way too slow.

        • Bob, I haven’t yet tried the new version. It took me long enough to get used to the one I’m using now. I suppose I’ll be forced to start using it soon, but until then, I’m sticking with the one I sort of know how to use! 😀

          • bobmielke

            I agree. I don’t know why they keep “fixing” something that wasn’t broken. I suppose it’s their idea of job security.

            • That, and the whole culture of “planned obsolescence” that says we must keep changing things in order to create continual market needs. I’m no Luddite but enough is sometimes more than enough!

  3. My favorite flower is the Easter Lily. Connected to many historical persons, including Jesus Christ, the Roman goddess Juno, and Eve as she was banished from Eden. Easter lilies are associated with purity, grace joy and rebirth.

    • That is a beautiful flower. I tend to go for the more colorful flowers rather than the white ones, but I love the lilies and their graceful structure.

  4. Julia, what a nice way to convey “Happy Birthday” to someone special. 🙂 I would like to say “Happy Birthday” as well. I love roses, tulips, daisies, geraniums, angel wing begonias, and pansies to name a few. Fall has me thinking of chrysanthemums, which will involve several trips to various nurseries. It’s still way too hot here so I’ll anxiously await cooler temps. I so hope y’all are having a good holiday weekend. 🙂

    • Hi Sheila, thanks for your happy birthday wishes – I’m sure the “mystery gal” will appreciate them! You love a lot of the same flowers I do. I didn’t know what angel wing begonias are but I looked them up when I read your comment and they are certainly lovely. Jeff and I are in the midst of re-doing our York landscaping and I’m trying to decide what flowering shrubs to plant near the house (part shade) and around the mailbox (sun, sun, sun). I love the portulaca because they are so colorful and drought tolerant. While we are living part time in two homes, I need to find something that is easy care. I am excited about working with the landscaper to choose now plants now that they have cleared out the old ones. But as you say, I intend to wait for cooler weather! We are enjoying the holiday. Hard to believe it’s Labor Day already.

  5. Larry

    The flowers are so beautiful! A treasure that God has placed all around for everyone to enjoy. Perhaps the most amazing are the ones not planted intentionally in gardens but the ones which grow in nature planted by the hand of God. The Butterfly says she loves all of nature but especially iris of any color. One that I find most amazing are the surprise lilies which spring up over night and grow to almost three feet tall in just a day.

    • Yes, I just love those lilies that bloom so quickly. Our irises have not been blooming much lately and I think it’s because the trees needed to be thinned out; they were getting pretty much NO sun. I might transplant them. I do love wildflowers and still remember fondly the Bluebonnet and Indian Paintbrush in Texas, and the Bougainvillea in California. We are so lucky to have all these blessings to enjoy!

  6. Flowers…God’s gift to us. I enjoy flowers…even the tiny flowers that pop up on the lawn in early spring. The tiny blue, pink, and white flowers most people call weeds 🙂

    • I agree Merry, no plant with a flower is ever completely a weed to me. I remember when I was young being mystified that people considered the dandelions to be weeds — those perky bright yellow flowers and then the little fluffy seed balls we would wish on and blow away — what not to like about that? Anything that adds color to my life is OK with me!

  7. Good morning, Julia! I like anything that grows from a bulb, I think. I also go as much for the fragrance as for appearance, so stock wins over roses.
    I’ve been told that “Susan” means some kind of lily, and a Farsi speaking person told me that Susan is a flower in their language, too. I’m glad, because I like lilies.

    • I never knew “Susan” meant lily, that is a nice thing to be named for! I have always loved all the bulb plants. They are so bright and colorful, and so many of them bloom in the early spring when we are so eager to see them. The daffodil is my favorite flower, which is really saying something since I love them all so much. I want to get a red amaryllis although I’m not sure they would survive the winter in Virginia. We used to have one in San Antonio that came back every year.

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