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Flowers
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Thus are my blossoms blasted in the bud,

And caterpillars eat my leaves away.  William Shakespeare, The First Part of the Contention II Henry VI III i 89-90, York to self

 

 

Tulips: the Dutch started buying tulip bulbs like lottery tickets.  They knew all about speculation … This was the world’s first great speculative bubble.  A pound of tulips were now changing hands for the price of a house, a farm, a pair of ships … The tulip market had collapsed in just four days.  Andrew Marr’s History of the World V: Age of Plunder, BBC 2012 

 

 

Flowers are central to culture throughout the world.  Iain Stewart, How to Grow a Planet II: The Power of Flowers, BBC 2012

 

The emergence of flowers is one of the biggest turning points in Earth’s history.  ibid.

 

Where there is water and light, flowers have produced life.  ibid.  

 

Flowers use animals to help them distribute their seeds.  ibid.

 

 

I have a friend who's an artist and has sometimes taken a view which I don’t agree with very well.  He’ll hold up a flower and say, ‘Look how beautiful it is,’ and I’ll agree.  Then he says, ‘I as an artist can see how beautiful this is but you as a scientist take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing,’ and I think that he’s kind of nutty.  First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me too, I believe.  Although I may not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is ... I can appreciate the beauty of a flower.  At the same time, I see much more about the flower than he sees.  I could imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside, which also have a beauty.  I mean it’s not just beauty at this dimension, at one centimetre; there’s also beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner structure, also the processes.  The fact that the colours in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; it means that insects can see the colour.  It adds a question, Does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms?  Why is it aesthetic?  All kinds of interesting questions which the science knowledge only adds to the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower.  It only adds.  I don’t understand how it subtracts.  Richard P Feynman 

 

 

From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity.  Edvard Munch

 

 

I am following Nature without being able to grasp her; I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.  Claude Monet

 

 

They’re [flowers] dying.  Take them away.  I don’t like dying things around.  Hitler: The Rise of Evil II 2003 [part I to watch] starring Robert Carlyle & Stockard Channing & Jena Malone & Julianna Margulies & Matthew Modine & Liev Schreiber & Peter O'Toole & Zoe Telford & Terence Harvey et al, director Christian Duguay, Hitler to guard

 

 

The flowers anew, returning seasons bring;

But beauty faded has no second spring.  Ambrose Philips, The First Pastoral, 1708

 

 

Not only are prominent red flowers likely to be pollinated by birds but theyre unlikely to have any scent.  David Attenborough, The Private Life of Plants: Flowering, BBC 1995

 

Sumatra: it only flowers once in a thousand days ... The biggest flower in the world ... Amorphophallus titanum.  ibid.

 

 

Ultra-violet markings on some flowers serve to guide insects to nectar.  David Attenborough, Life in the Undergrowth IV: Intimate Relations, BBC 2005

 

 

Flowers carry both male and female sex organs.  And they first appeared about a hundred million years ago  about December 20th on our calendar.  David Attenborough: Life on Earth (revised series)

 

 

Other flowers that smell of carrion also produce heat.  David Attenborough’s Kingdom of Plants II: Solving the Secrets, BBC 2012

 

 

Flowers that are pollinated by bats are rather more pungent.  David Attenborough’s Kingdom of Plants III

 

 

Corpse flower: It might be mistaken for a dead animal … A metre across, it’s the world’s biggest flower.  This one is a male.  From its centre comes the pungent odour of death.  David Attenborough, The Green Planet I: Tropical Worlds, BBC 2022

 

 

There is that in the glance of a flower which may at times control the greatest of creations braggart lords.  John Muir

 

 

Wild flowers should be enjoyed unplucked where they grow.  Theodore Roosevelt

 

 

Our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf.  Lewis Mumford, cited Quote Magazine 8th October 1961

 

 

I did write slow songs because I feel it’s easier to get more blues and feeling into them.  The ballads I get really together – that’s what I really dig.  Flower power.  Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child

 

 

I never saw daffodils so beautiful.  They grew among the mossy stones about and about them; some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness; and the rest tossed and reeled and danced, and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the lake.  Dorothy Wordsworth, 1802

 

 

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.  William Wordsworth, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

 

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.  ibid.

 

 

Here are sweet peas, on tip-toe for a flight.  John Keats, I Stood Tip-Toe Upon a Little Hill, 1817

 

 

I see a lily on thy brow

With anguish moist and fever dew,

And on thy cheeks a fading rose

Fast withereth too.  John Keats, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, 1820

 

 

Mid hushed, cool-rooted flowers, fragrant-eyed,

Blue, silver-white, and budded Tyrian.  John Keats, Ode to Psyche

 

 

The Biggest Aspidistra in the World.  Jimmy Harper & Will E Haines & Tommy Connor, 1938 song popularized Gracie Fields

 

 

O fairest flower no sooner blown but blasted,

Soft silken primrose fading timelessly.  John Milton, On the Death of a Fair Infant Dying of a Cough, 1673

 

 

Where have all the flowers gone?

Long time passing.

Where have all the flowers gone?

Long time ago.

Where have all the flowers gone?

The girls have picked them ev’ry one.

Oh, When will you ever learn?  Pete Seeger, Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

 

 

It was a grand year for Crysanths, 1939.  I wish we could have another one like it.  Dudley Moore, Beyond the Fringe

 

 

The daisy, primrose, violet, darkly blue,

And polyanthus of unnumbered dyes;

The yellow wall-flower, stained with iron brown;

And lavish stock that scents the garden round.  James Thomson, The Seasons, 1746

 

 

I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.  Song of Solomon 6:3

 

 

When daisies pied and violets blue

And lady-smocks all silver-white

And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue

Do paint the meadows with delight,

The cuckoo then, on every tree,

Mocks married men.  William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost V ii 902

 

 

I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows

Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows

Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,

With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine.  William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream I i 249

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