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Hey plant friends!
I’m Maria, the "Plant Killer Turned Plant Lady" with a mission to help you care for plants successfully, grow your indoor jungles, and cultivate more joy in your life. I've got tons of content for you here on the blog, on the Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast, and Bloom and Grow Youtube Show to help you keep blooming and keep growing.
Flowers have totally mesmerized people for ages with their awesome colors, shapes, and smells. We’re totally obsessed with them, and they’ve been a huge part of our cultures, traditions, and personal bonds for as long as we can remember. In this episode, we’re going to talk about the history of flowers with a celebrated garden writer, Noel Kingsbury. We’ll explore the history and meanings behind flowers, how they’ve evolved alongside pollinators, and the special relationships we have with these amazing plants.
Growing Joy: The Plant Lover’s Guide to Cultivating Happiness (and Plants) by Maria Failla, Illustrated by Samantha Leung
Growing plants on purpose—that’s cultivation, plant friends! It’s been happening for thousands of years since ancient times. They were already cultivating cereals, peas, and lentils in the Middle East though growing flowers began a bit later.
The Greeks and Romans were the ones who first thought of growing flowers for ornamental purposes, and they got the idea from Persia. China was way ahead of us in this area as they had been cultivating flowers for decorative purposes for about a thousand years before it caught on in the West.
Flowers and pollinators have evolved together over millions of years. Noel explained that flowers have learned how to attract specific pollinators, and in turn, pollinators have adapted to feed on those specific flowers.
This relationship is mutually beneficial, as both flowers and pollinators benefit from each other. Orchids are a good example of this relationship with their intricate shapes and nectar tubes accessible only to specific moths.
Cultivated flowers have changed over time due to human preferences and practices, as Noel emphasized. He gave examples like maize, which changed because of early farming practices, and dahlias, which became symbols of Czech nationalism during the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.
This co-evolution between humans and flowers shows how plants adapt to live in different surroundings and meet our aesthetic and cultural preferences!
Flowers have the amazing ability to make us feel better, bring out different emotions, and encourage us to be creative. We looked at how flowers can change how we feel and help us connect with the natural world.
Noel’s stories showed us how even just a small bunch of flowers or a nice garden can make us happy, help us focus, and remind us how wonderful nature is.
Fun facts about flowers:
Note: If you want to learn more about flowers and have fun exploring, you should check out online platforms like Garden Masterclass. They have lots of great stuff to help you with gardening and learning about plants!
Flowers are beautiful and have a special relationship with pollinators. They show the connection between nature and human culture, make us feel emotional, inspire us, and create personal connections.
You can enjoy flowers by caring for a garden, giving a bouquet, or looking at a single bloom. Every flower has a story, and learning about them shows us their wisdom and beauty.
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