Sage & Medicinal Flowers

Sage & Medicinal Flowers
Ancient Romans and Greeks used sage to stimulate the memory. Current research shows that it might prove useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The Greek word for thyme is thumon, which is similar to Thumos, a Roman spirit and giver of courage and force. His symbol was thyme, and centurions are known to have bathed in thyme water before battle. Oregano, known as dittany in floral dictionaries, was another valuable medicinal herb and the mainstay of an army doctor’s bag during battle, when it was used as a disinfectant. It would also have been useful during confinement. Bells of Ireland are, of course, as green as the Emerald Isle and obviously thought to share the proverbial luck of the Irish. Tart green gooseberries make the mouth water in anticipation. And let’s not forget the charming story that babies can found under gooseberry bushes.

In the twenty-first century herbs are popular once again and are widely available as growing plants or in bunches of cut stems for cooking. I have mixed a few bunches here with some other ingredients to produce a restful foliage- based arrangement that could also have been made into a generous tied posy. Any one of the herbs with another flower or fruit would make an equally thoughtful, but simpler, arrangement. Leave the herbs still bound in bunches when you make an arrangement like this to produce a relaxed ‘wild’ effect, which would be lost if the ingredients were mixed together

Basil has a long and varied past.To the Romans it was a symbol of love and fertilityTradition held that if a girl could get a man to accept a basil plant, he would marry her (a pot on her Window-sill would attract him in the first place). In Ancient Greece basil was stamped on to avoid bad luck, in Tudor England it was a favourite parting gift to guests, while in India, where it originates, it is a sacred plant and used to cleanse Hindu temples. It has also been used to dispel headaches, menstrual pains and flies. A lucky plant indeed.

Seasonal flowers for an expectant mother: in spring, forsythia symbolizes expectation or anticipation; in summer, red geraniums wish her comfort, with basil to represent good luck.

I always look out for interesting containers to give with flowers as gifts. Forsythia is a large showy shrub but small cut-off sideshoots can look delicate and delightful. That’s what I have used here, arranged in an old painted tin pot. It would make a great choice for a baby-shower party or to give to someone awaiting exam results. Likewise the geranium and basil. Geraniums can be a bit demanding on the eye in all the glory of a municipal park display. Cut a few flowering stems, however, and mix them judiciously in a pretty coloured vase with something like these dark sprays of basil to tone things down slightly, and you have a real winner

This writer is a florist in Thailand and makes many flower arrangement for weddings and marriages in Thailand. He is based in central Bangkok, where is hismain Bangkok flower shop in Baht Korn Talad area near Banglumpoo. He makes all types of bridal flower arrangements and flowers for the wedding reception. His website for Thailand flowers is Flowers Thailand.


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