Flowers and Folklore: Create a Garden Around Flower Tales (Part 2)

Flowers are more than just pretty things, they're like little history books. 

When we take care of our gardens, we're really nurturing stories and by learning about each flower's tale and telling others keeps an old tradition alive. These tales will endure long after we're gone, so it's important to learn and pass on the intertwined stories they hold.

If you missed Part 1 of Flowers and Folklore last week, you can read it here. Read on for Part 2!

Spiderwort: Weavers of fate

Hardiness zone: Flourishes in zones 4-9.

Season to grow: Blooms in late spring to early summer.

Folklore: Native spiderworts are not mere wildflowers; they are believed to possess the mystical power of fate within their delicate petals. In the tapestry of Native American folklore, these flowers are regarded as gifts from the Great Spirit, bestowed upon humanity to aid in the weaving of destiny. Placing spiderworts in your garden is thought to invite harmony and equilibrium into your life!

Foxglove: Fairy gloves of enchantment

Hardiness zone: Prefers zones 4-8.

Season to grow: Blooms in late spring to early summer.

Folklore: Foxglove is steeped in tales of enchantment and mysticism. In English folklore, the flowers were believed to be worn by fairies as gloves, thus earning the name "foxglove." Caution is warranted, as all parts of the plant contain cardiac glycosides, which can be harmful if ingested.

Hellebore: Lovers' tears

Hardiness zone: Thrives in zones 4-9.

Season to grow: Blooms in late winter to early spring.

Folklore: Hellebores are affectionately known as the Winter Rose for their resilience to bloom amidst the chill of winter. In the tales of Greek mythology, these flowers were said to have been utilized by the sorceress Medea in her potent potions and spells. Meanwhile, throughout medieval Europe, hellebores were believed to ward off malevolent spirits and were often planted near doorways to safeguard homes.

Snowdrop: Harbingers of hope

Hardiness zone: Flourishes in zones 3-7.

Season to grow: Blooms in late winter to early spring.

Folklore: As winter's icy grip begins to loosen, snowdrops emerge from the frost-covered earth, signaling the imminent arrival of spring. In Christian folklore, these dainty blooms are regarded as symbols of hope and purity, representing the tears shed by the Virgin Mary for her son, Jesus. Growing snowdrops in the garden is believed to bring in blessings of renewal and new beginnings!

Marigold: The herb of the sun

Hardiness zone: Thrives in zones 2-11.

Season to grow: Blooms in summer to fall.

Folklore: Marigolds are steeped in folklore across various cultures, often associated with the sun and its life-giving properties. In Mexican tradition, marigolds play a central role in the annual Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations, where they are used to honor deceased loved ones and guide their spirits back to the earthly realm. In Hindu mythology, marigolds are offered to the gods as symbols of devotion and prosperity, particularly during festivals and religious ceremonies.

Hyacinth: A tale of rebirth

Hardiness zone: Prefers zones 4-8.

Season to grow: Blooms in early to mid-spring.

Folklore: Hyacinths are not just fragrant spring flowers; they hold a mythological tale of tragedy and rebirth. In Greek mythology, the hyacinth is said to have sprung from the blood of the youth Hyacinthus, who was accidentally killed by the god Apollo during a discus throwing contest. Apollo, grief-stricken by the loss of his beloved, transformed Hyacinthus' spilled blood into the fragrant blooms of the hyacinth, symbolizing the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

Peony: Flower of prosperity

Hardiness zone: Thrives in zones 3-8.

Season to grow: Blooms in late spring to early summer.

Folklore: Peonies are revered for their lush blooms and auspicious symbolism in Chinese folklore. Known as the "king of flowers," peonies are believed to bring prosperity, wealth, and good fortune to those who grow them. Legends tell of Chinese emperors who adorned their palaces with peonies to attract blessings and ensure a prosperous reign. In Chinese culture, peonies are also associated with love, romance, and enduring beauty.


Lotus: Symbol of enlightenment

Hardiness zone: Prefers zones 4-10.

Season to grow: Blooms in summer to early fall.

Folklore: The Lotus is not just a sacred flower; it's a symbol of enlightenment and spiritual awakening in Buddhist folklore. The Lotus is revered for its ability to rise from murky waters and bloom unblemished, the lotus represents the journey of the soul towards enlightenment, transcending worldly suffering and achieving inner peace. In Buddhist mythology, the lotus is often depicted as cradling the Buddha or serving as a throne for divine beings, symbolizing purity, grace, and the potential for spiritual growth.

Iris: Messenger of the gods

Hardiness zone: Thrives in zones 3-9.

Season to grow: Blooms in spring to early summer.

Folklore: Irises are elegant garden flowers that hold a mythological tale of divine connection and communication. In Greek mythology, irises were named after the goddess Iris, who served as a messenger between the gods and mortals, traveling on rainbows to deliver messages from Olympus. It's said that the striking colors of the iris flower represent the varied hues of the rainbow, symbolizing the bridge between heaven and earth and the interconnectedness of all living beings.

1 comment

  • Sallie

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