After strolling through my bare brown leaf and mulch blanketed winter garden, my friend said to me, “your garden is a sanctuary. I felt at peace after I left there yesterday.”

I had shared with her some fresh tender broccoli and a take away bowl of swiss chard (from the garden) and lentil soup.

So you see, my garden speaks even in the dark of winter, not only through visitor’s reactions, but through the characters of each dormant seed, bulb, and resting perennial waiting to bloom.

I’ve only included the plants I have. This is what they say to me:

Rosemary – remember me, Angelica – inspiration, Bachelor Button – blessedness, Basil – good wishes, Begonia – beware, Chives – be useful, Chrysanthemum – cheer up, Columbine – joyful foolishness, Coriander – fidelity, Dahlia – dignity, Daisy – innocence, Dill – power over evil, Fern – sincerity, Geranimum – true friendship, Hibiscus – delicate beauty, Iris – message me, Jasmine – sweet love, Lavender – devotion, Lily – mother, Marigold – grief, Mint – virtue, Oregano – substance, Parsley – festivity, Poppy – consolation, Sage – wisdom, Snapdragon – graciousness, Sunflower – adoration, Thyme – courage, Yarrow – everlasting love, Zinnia – thoughts of absent friends.


What is your favorite flower, and what is it saying to you?

Lovers claim it as their own. Its symbols smile upon the land,

Wrought by nature’s wondrous hand;

And in their silent beauty speak,

Of life and joy, to those who seek

For love divine and sunny hours

in the language of the flowers.

London, 1875

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