My parents were great gardeners so it is no surprise that I have always loved flowers. I first got the opportunity to show just how much aged 18 months, when I snapped the heads off all my father's newly planted night scented stocks. I think he had planted about 100 of them in a very large bed just inside the front gate and needless to say I was not popular! So I find this time of year very difficult, all of those dark, mainly flowerless garden days ahead.
The geraniums are all packed into the greenhouse.
As there is no heating in there, may have to be brought into the house or go to my husband's office, if it gets very cold. The dahlias are looking extremely sad and are ready to be dug up for their tubers to be stored in sand until next year. The fuchsias are still going as is a fantastic little rose underneath my dining room window which I bought reduced years ago and it has repaid me more than I can say.
But there is not much more still in flower so, in search of some cheer we set off for the garden centre last weekend. It was the most miserable weather but the sight of all those plants does lift the spirits and we bought some wallflowers to put under the dining room window and pansies to fill some of the pots.
The French name for pansy is pensee and means thought. The Victorians loved this flower. The pansy is from the viola family and the plants are symbols of togetherness, tender attachment, concern and compassion. A gift for a friend would often contain an image of pansies, as might a gift from a lover and photograph albums often depicted the flower on their front cover. Apparently they are good flowers to have around you when you want to remember with fondness people who have died. The pansy was also a favourite flower of Queen Elizabeth I and appears embroidered on a pair of gloves from that time.
White pansies mean 'let's take a chance' which seems apt. As a writer you are taking chances all the time. You never really know, at least I don't, whether a story will work out and if it does, whether anyone will see in it what you do.
Apparently the Knights of the Round Table consulted the pansy to find out their fate by interpreting the number of rays from the centre of the flower. Seven was considered to be lucky. The pansy is also known as Heartsease because it was thought that by carrying it you would ensure the love of your sweetheart.
Violet pansies mean 'modesty', hence the term 'shrinking violet' and this is also a bit apt this week. One of the things I find more challenging about being a writer is all of the promotional stuff, but I am absolutely thrilled to report that Last Chance Angel has been short-listed for the Essex Book Awards. You can read about the books which have been nominated on their blog here and more about the awards themselves here.
My final pansies are lemon yellow.
This is the colour of new ideas, of cheerfulness, hope and optimism. Apparently it helps with decision making, clarity of thought and helps us to focus.
Who would have thought that three trays of pansies would contain so much information?! This weekend I shall enjoy planting them and next week I'm going to talk a little about finding your writing voice. I hope you will join me again. In the meantime many thanks for reading.