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Flowers

  • Forsythia is pure joy. There is not an ounce, not a glimmer of sadness or even knowledge in forsythia. Pure, undiluted, untouched joy.

  • O daisy mine, what will it be to look / From God's side even of such a simple thing?

  • People often ... have no idea how fair the flower is to the touch, nor do they appreciate its fragrance, which is the soul of the flower.

  • ... the smell of lilacs crept poignantly into the room like a remembered spring.

  • Dogwoods are great optimists. Daffodils wait and see, crouching firmly underground just in case spring doesn't come this year, but dogwoods have faith.

  • People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.

  • Old roses ... are full of instructions on how to live right. ... If you are attacked by disease, abandonment, or a bad chain of events, do not necessarily despair. There is always the chance you were bred to be tough.

  • I never saw daffodils so beautiful. They grew among the mossy stones about and above them; some rested their heads upon these stones, as on a pillow, for weariness ...

    • Dorothy Wordsworth,
    • 1802, in William Knight, ed., Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth, vol. 1 ()
  • The columbine ... is a graceful slender creature, a female seeking retirement, and growing freest and most graceful where it is most alone. I observed that the more shaded plants were always the tallest.

    • Dorothy Wordsworth,
    • 1802, in William Knight, ed., Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth, vol. 1 ()
  • Flowers and plants are silence presences; they nourish every sense except the ear ...

  • Every flower holds the whole mystery in its short cycle, and in the garden we are never far away from death, the fertilizing, good, creative death.

  • I love giving flowers. It is so deliciously unlasting and romantic.

    • May Sarton,
    • 1928, in Susan Sherman, ed., May Sarton: Among the Usual Days ()
  • Tan and green orchid, / Are you a little lady / Holding up your skirts / Above wet grass?

  • Cowslips in water ... I found them wading / Up to their little green knees ...

  • I am inclined to think that the flowers we most love are those we knew when we were very young, when our senses were most acute to color and to smell, and our natures most lyrical.

  • A weed is but an unloved flower!


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  • ... nothing is more wistful than the scent of lilac, nor more robust than its woody stalk, for we must remember that it is a tree as well as a flower, we must try not to forget this ...

  • I like to see flowers growing, but when they are gathered, they cease to please. I look on them as things rootless and perishable; their likeness to life makes me sad. I never offer flowers to those I love; I never wish to receive them from hands dear to me.

  • See the last orange roses, how they blow / Deeper and heavier than in their prime, / In one defiant flame before they go ...

  • A flowerless room is a soulless room, to my way of thinking; but even one solitary little vase of a living flower may redeem it.

  • ... roses are the only flowers at garden-parties; the only flowers that everybody is certain of knowing.

  • Wouldn't it be nice if roses could talk? I'm sure they could tell us such lovely things.

  • Nasturtiums, who colored you, you wonderful, glowing things? You must have been fashioned out of summer sunsets.

  • They [daisies] are my favorite flower. There is something innocent and vulnerable about them as if they thanked you for admiring them.

    • Anne Sexton,
    • 1971, in Linda Gray Sexton and Lois Ames, eds., Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters ()
  • The career of flowers differs from ours only in inaudibleness.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • (1874), in Mabel Loomis Todd, ed., Letters of Emily Dickinson, vol. 2 ()
  • The older I grow the more do I love spring and spring flowers. Is it so with you?

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • in Mabel Loomis Todd, ed., The Letters of Emily Dickinson 1845-1886 ()
  • ... in a way — nobody sees a flower — really — it is so small — we haven't time — and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.

  • A flower touches everyone's heart.

  • Coming back in the sunshine, the morning-glories would lift up their faces, all awake, to my adoring gaze ... It seems as if they had gathered the peace of the golden morning in their still depths even as my heart had gathered it.

  • As I work among my flowers, I find myself talking to them, reasoning and remonstrating with them, and adoring them as if they were human beings. Much laughter I provoke among my friends by so doing, but that is of no consequence. We are on such good terms, my flowers and I.

  • ... the ground was white with columbine, enormous flowers snowy and crisp as though freshly starched by fairy laundresses.

  • Best and dearest flower that grows, / Perfect both to see and smell; / Words can never, never tell / Half the beauty of a Rose — .

  • So small, so blue, in grassy places / My flowers raise / Their tiny faces.

    • Cicely Mary Barker,
    • "The Song of the Forget-Me-Not Fairy," Flower Fairies of the Summer ()
  • 'Tis I whom children love the best; / My wealth is all for them; / For them is set each glossy cup / Upon each sturdy stem.

    • Cicely Mary Barker,
    • "The Song of the Buttercup Fairy," Flower Fairies of the Summer ()
  • Flowers is mighty like folks, if you give some on 'em a inch, they'll take a ell.

  • In a corner of the churchyard grew a plantation of white violets, enormously plump and prosperous-looking. ... I saw the dead stretched out under me in the earth, feeding these flowers with a thin milk drawn from their bones.

  • ... a flower is a plant's way of making love ...

  • Flowers are like visible messages from God.

  • [Petunias are] as hopelessly impractical as a chiffon ball dress.

  • ... each separate flower has a magic all its own.

  • ... it always seems to me as if the lavender was a little woman in a green dress, with a lavender bonnet and a white kerchief. She's one of those strong, sweet, wholesome people, who always rest you, and her sweetness lingers long after she goes away.

  • I've always thought my flowers had souls ...

  • How can one help shivering with delight when one's hot fingers close around the stem of a live flower, cool from the shade and stiff with new-born vigor.

    • Colette,
    • "On Tour," Music Hall Sidelights ()
  • For years now we've had no cause to mistrust the begonia. ... This year we stand stunned before its megalomanic flower, which aspires to replace the hollyhock, the nasturtium, the peony, even the rose. A blaze of incomparable, presumptuous colours adorns it, it claims the most beautiful vibrant reds, a yellow that sheds light all round, a unique fleshy saffron. But smell it; it has less fragrance than a clod of earth and, if you touch it cautiously, it has been unable to lose its vegetable stiffness, its flesh as brittle as that of a young radish.

    • Colette,
    • "Flowers," Journey for Myself ()
  • ... dandelions were what she chiefly saw. Yellow jewels for everyday, studding the patched green dress of her back yard.

  • Some brave chrysanthemums still stood in the country gardens, but they looked like bedraggled survivors of a battle, barely able to hold their tattered banners upright. October was at the gates and autumn was in full retreat.

  • If you want good roses, sharpen your knife and harden your heart.

  • ... the chrysanthemums ... were the big mop-headed kind, burgundy-coloured, with curled petals; their beauty was noble, architectural ...

  • One violet is as sweet as an acre of them.

  • Is it enough to know merely the name of the flower you meet in the meadow? The blossom has an inner meaning, hopes and fears that inspire its brief existence, a scheme of salvation for its species in the struggle for survival that it has been slowly perfecting with some insect's help through the ages. It is not a passive thing to be admired by human eyes, nor does it waste its sweetness on the desert air. It is a sentient being, impelled to act intelligently through the same strong desires that animate us, and endowed with certain powers differing only in degree, but not in kind, from those of the animal creation.

  • Budapest in late May is a city of lilacs. The sweet, languid, rather sleepy smell of lilacs wafts everywhere. And it is a city of lovers, many of them quite middle-aged. Walking with their arms around each other, embracing and kissing on park benches. A sensuousness very much bound up (it seems to me) with the heady ubiquitous smell of lilacs.

    • Joyce Carol Oates,
    • "Budapest Journal: May 1980," (Woman) Writer: Occasions and Opportunities ()
  • No garden can really be too small to hold a peony. Had I but four square feet of ground at my disposal, I would plant a peony in the center and proceed to worship ...

  • ... I think we must love flowers the way we do because they're so perishable.

  • I never fail to get that childlike feeling of pure delight when I discover the first spring wildflower.

  • First a howling blizzard woke us / Then the rain came down to soak us, / And now before the eye can focus — / Crocus.

    • Lilja Rogers,
    • "Hocus Pocus," in The Saturday Evening Post ()
  • ... one of the buds on the rosebush opened into a blossom, white and silky as a baby's fist.

  • Once a century, all of a certain kind of bamboo flower on the same day. Whether they are in Malaysia or in a greenhouse in Minnesota makes no difference, nor does the age or size of the plant. They flower. Some current of an inner language passes between them, through space and separation, in ways we cannot explain in our language. They are all, somehow, one plant, each with a share of communal knowledge.

    • Linda Hogan,
    • in Lorraine Anderson, ed., Sisters of the Earth ()
  • ... the forsythias leap into yellow flame. Their fires are purest gold, like fronds of sunshine congealed, thin as lace.

  • Not all flowers are things of beauty ... heather! how it mutilates gardens with its puréed fruit-pulp appearance, its neutered growth and depressing meanness. ... Effete lupins or doleful bulks of rhododendrons do nothing to make my hair stand on end; neither do raucous gladioli which might work growing on the back seat of a sports car, but which look spitefully aggressive lifting their heads above the pallid hues of docile flowers.

  • The intransigence of roses is something we have had to accept and now ... I know which are docile and benevolent from those which are headstrong; those that are pliant from those which are pig-headed.

  • ... when they are in full flower they assail the senses: the scent and the sight of them is overwhelming and the urge to touch the frail petals and cup the great bloooms in your hands is almost irresistible.

  • No wonder the tulip is the patron flower of Holland. Looking at it one almost smells fresh paint laid on in generous brilliance: doors, blinds, whole houses, canal boats, pails, farm wagons — all painted in greens, blues, reds, pinks, yellows.

  • The first dandelions touch the heart-strings in much the same way as do the early notes of the robin, their blessed familiarity impressing us like a happy surprise.

  • I had not thought of violets of late, / The wild, shy kind that springs beneath your feet / In wistful April days ...

  • I love their delicacy, their disarming innocence, and their defiance of life itself.

    • Grace Kelly,
    • with Gwen Robyns, My Book of Flowers ()
  • Have you ever looked into the heart of a flower?

    • Grace Kelly,
    • with Gwen Robyns, My Book of Flowers ()
  • Flowers produce an effect on me which can only be produced in an equal degree by music.

  • The buttercups across the field / Made sunshine rifts of splendor.

  • I place flowers in the very first rank of simple pleasures; and I have no very good opinion of the hard worldly people who take no delight in them.

    • Mary Russell Mitford,
    • 1812, in the Reverend A.G. L'Estrange, ed., The Life of Mary Russell Mitford, vol. 1 ()
  • Azalea — whitest of white! / ... / A very rapture of white; / A wedlock of silence and light.

  • Dandelions meet me wherever I am they overrun Germany's railway embankments dusty corners fields seize even well-trimmed gardens through hedges leaves like fine saws new flowers every day have the wind to carry them over rivers walled boundaries stick my fingers together when I try to fend them off.

    • Sarah Kirsch,
    • "Dandelions for Chains," in Joanna Bankier and Deirdre Lashgari, eds., Women Poets of the World ()
  • ... violets are God's apology for February ...

  • Where flowers bloom, so does hope.

  • ... he is happiest who hath power / to gather wisdom from a flower.

    • Mary Howitt,
    • "Spring Crocuses," Ballads and Other Poems ()
  • We once had a lily here that bore 108 flowers on one stalk: it was photographed naturally for all the gardening papers. The bees came from miles and miles, and there were the most disgraceful Bacchanalian scenes: bees hardly able to find their way home.

    • Edith Sitwell,
    • 1943, in John Lehmann and Derek Parker, eds., Selected Letters ()
  • Crocuses. They come / by stealth, spreading the rumor of spring ...

  • Pure water lily / how grew you / so white / Rising through / dark water?

    • Ada C. Perry,
    • in Gail Perry and Jill Perry, eds., A Rumor of Angels ()
  • We are gawks / lusting / after wild orchids / Wait! What's this? — / sign: / Flowers / loveliest / where they grow / Love them enjoy them / and leave them so / Let's go!

  • A flower is a daisy chain, a graduation, a valentine; a flower is New Year's Eve and an orchid in your hair; a flower is a single geranium blooming in a tin can on a murky city fire-escape; an acre of roses at the Botanical Gardens; and the first gold crocus of spring! ... a flower is a birth, a wedding, a leaving of this life.

  • Flowers speak to us if we listen. Appreciating the blossom in hand or pausing in the garden to admire the beauty quiets our outer selves till we hear something new, something we did not hear before — the still, small voice of Nature herself.

  • I love planting bulbs. It is making promises with tomorrow, believing in next year and the future.

  • Lilacs are May in essence.

  • Give dandelions an inch and they'll take a yard.

  • Flowers have faces as distinctive and individual as people.

  • Narcissus are very nice, the scent of hyacinth is such as dreams are made on, but it is in tulips lies the preservation of the world. I've decided it's humanly impossible to plant too many, assuming, of course, you're not using them to spell out your company logo in red and yellow or something like that.

    • Leslie Land,
    • in Leslie Land and Roger Phillips, The 3,000 Mile Garden: An Exchange of Letters on Gardening, Food, and the Good Life ()
  • Black-eyed susans ... are a greedy plant, often the first to thrive in scorched, devastated earth. Pretty, but competitive, like cheerleaders. They live to crowd out the others.

  • Rich they were, rich as a fig broken open, soft as a ripened peach, freckled as an apricot, coral as pomegranate, bloomy as a bunch of grapes.