June Roses and Tussie-Mussies

While researching wonderful varieties of flowers and  roses and herbs for Promise Me This, I revisited gardens I love—and took up their language, the language of flowers.

Accordingly, in the world of tussie-mussies, I am wealthy beyond measure, for today my yard is covered in golden buttercups, the flower symbolizing riches!  My riches are rivaled only by coquetry, evidenced by the gazillions of dandelions that follow in their wake.

The first flowers in my winter garden were snowdrops, symbolizing consolation or hope—fitting after a long winter, don’t you think?  Crocuses came next, then daffodils declaring uncertainty, chivalry, respect or unrequited loved, and red tulips, shouting “declaration of love.”

Lily of the Valley (sweetness, humility, returning happiness, trustworthy) hem the north side of my house, and hyacinths (consistency) border the front.  I’m sorry to say that hydrangea (heartlessness) stand just behind the hyacinths, almost shading a line of hollies (domestic happiness)  nearer the porch.  However does that combination work?  I don’t know.  But, both are beautiful and I love the holly’s bright red berries in winter.

And then there are peonies (shame and bashfulness—are they hopelessly related?), and lilac (first emotion of love), iris (good news), and white lilies for purity, orange for desire—even passion.

Next comes the first breathtaking bloom of June roses–but, let’s not start!  There’s a reason Alfred Noyes wrote, “Love lies hidden in every rose.”

Fragrance of honeysuckle (the bond of love) wafts from the woods, and almost every bed is ground covered in periwinkle (sweet memories).  Begonias (beware, a fanciful nature) hang from the porch—perfect for a writer!

The mint bed is telling as well—suspicion!  But the pansies have such friendly faces I don’t care what they mean.  They’re here to stay!

Skunk cabbage, ferns (magic, fascination, confidence, shelter), violets (modesty and faithfulness) and mayapples line the Laurel Run, and a wild sort of forget-me-nots (true love and memories) border the drive in patches.  Hosts of wildflowers that I love, but whose names I don’t know, run amuck through the meadow and woods.  What do they all mean–extraordinary beauty?  Pleasure beyond reckoning?

Still, they’re easy to miss.  They bud, blossom, bloom and fade in a brief window of time.  We’ll only enjoy them—fragrance, texture, color, form—if we take time—make time—to “smell the roses,” or flowers by any other name.

I think a cup of rosehip tea with a dollop of honey might be in order.  What do you say?

Enjoy your garden today, or wherever you happen upon your favorite blooms.  I hope they’ll rest and refresh you, until we meet next week, here in the garden.

God’s blessings,


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  • Marti says:

    I just finished reading your latest book. I love it can’t wait for more hurry up Sept I also love flowers, such a gift from God. He is so good. May God Bless you and your family.

    • Cathy Gohlke says:

      Thank you so much, Marti! I’m delighted you enjoyed “Promise Me This.” I loved researching and writing it, and spending time with flowers and gardens was the icing on the cake. : ) I agree that they are gifts from God!

      So glad you’re looking forward to “Band of Sisters!”

      God’s blessings for you~

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