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Wednesday 5 April 2023

Aprils Flowers

Continuing with the April theme this post concentrates on Aprils birth flowers, which I hope you find interesting, even if you do not celebrate a birthday this month.

"By April, spring is officially here and gardens are (or soon will be) bursting with colour from the earliest blooming flowers. For those born in April, daisies and sweet peas have special meaning, as the two have long been recognized as the April birth flowers. Whether they’re your “birth” flower or not, learn more about the history, meanings, and symbolism of the daisy and sweet pea!

What Are the April Birth Flowers?
The April birth month flowers are the daisy and the sweet pea. The daisy stands for innocence, purity, and true love, while the sweet pea is a way to say goodbye, send good wishes, or merely convey a thank you.


The Daisy
Stemming from Old English, daisy comes from “day’s eye,” referencing the daily habits of the English daisy, with its petals opening in the day and closing at night. Depending on the species, the daisy can be one of your earliest spring bloomers or among the last to appear in the fall.

The daisy is actually made up of two flowers. The centre eye—or disc floret—is a collection of tiny florets, while the ray floret (the petals) radiate from the centre, resembling the Sun. Because a daisy is made up of two flowers that work in perfect harmony, they have long been a symbol of true love.

Native to Europe and Africa, and eventually naturalized in North America, daisies belong to the aster family (Asteraceae). It is one of the largest plant families; one that also includes sunflowers and, of course, asters.

Daisy Meanings and Symbolism
  • The daisy has long represented innocence, purity, and true love.
  • Each colour daisy represents something different. The white daisy is a symbol of purity and innocence; yellow means joy and friendship; pink represents affection; and red is a sign of love and romance.
  • According to an old Celtic legend, when an infant or child died, the gods would cover the child’s grave with daisies to cheer up the parents.
  • In Norse mythology, the daisy is the sacred flower of Freyja, the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. In turn, the daisy became a symbol of motherhood and childbirth, and of new beginnings. Daisies are a common gift for new mothers.
  • A Roman myth attributes the creation of the daisy to the nymph Belides, who turned herself into a daisy to escape the affection of Vertumnus, the god of gardens and seasons. The Latin word for Daisy, bellis, is derived from the nymph’s name.
  • It was once thought that a daisy in a bouquet was a sign of one’s ability to keep a secret.
  • “Daisy” has been used in many phrases over time. “Fresh as a daisy” means someone has had a good night’s rest; “oopsy daisy” or “whoops-a-daisy” is said after a mistake or blunder.
  • Daisies have been linked to the Virgin Mary, given their representation of love, innocence, and new beginnings.
  • The daisy is a flower given between friends to emphasize the keeping of a secret; the daisy means “I’ll never tell!”
The Daisy in History
The daisy family, which is also known by its scientific name, Compositae, was classified by the German botanist Paul Dietrich Giseke in the late 1700s. However, records of daisies date back to 2,200 B.C., when it is believed they were grown in Egyptian gardens and used for medicinal purposes.

Daisies have long been associated with medicine. Teas made from daisies are used to treat coughs, bronchitis, and inflammation; wild daisies have been applied to the skin to treat wounds or disease; and King Henry VIII, it has been said, ate daisies to help with stomach ulcers.

Daisies in the Garden
Daisies can commonly be found growing in cultivated gardens, as well as lawns, meadows, and along roads. Some species are known to be weeds, so plant with care. The most common garden daisies are the Ox eye, Shasta, Gerbera, and English.

Daisy seeds can be started in the spring, indoors, 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost, or outdoors after the last frost. Plants grown from seed won’t bloom until the following season.


The Sweet Pea
The sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) is part of the Fabaceae family and is related to beans and other legumes. While it is not a crop pea, it is a close relative. It’s also commonly confused with the everlasting pea due to its similar look. While sweet pea has been used in some areas of the world for medicine and food, it is considered toxic to humans and animals, unlike its edible garden pea relatives.

Native to Italy and the Mediterranean region, sweet peas are not only beautiful, but have a sweet fragrance—often likened to oranges, honey, and jasmine—that can brighten any room.

They are found in a wide range of colours with hundreds of varieties having been developed over time, and bloom from spring to early summer, depending on planting region.

Sweet Pea Meanings and Symbolism
  • In the language of flowers, a bouquet of sweet peas is a way to say goodbye or thank you for a lovely time. It can also mean blissful pleasure, good wishes, kindness, gratitude, and friendship.
  • Some English gardeners refer to them as the “Queen of the Annuals.”
  • In France, the flower has long been a traditional gift for brides, providing good luck on her wedding day and in the marriage.
  • At one point in time, it was worn for strength or to reveal the truth. Sweet peas were also worn in pockets to provide a fragrance to clothing.
  • In some cultures, the sweet pea was thought to have magical properties.
Sweet Peas in History
Sweet peas were first discovered in southern Italy in the late 1600s by Francis Cupani, a Sicilian monk. Cupani is said to have sent seeds from the sweet pea to Dr. Casper Commelin, a botanist in Amsterdam, and Dr. Robert Uvedale, a teacher and plant enthusiast in England, which began its spread around Europe.

In the 1800s, Henry Eckard, a Scottish nursery proprietor, began creating sweet pea hybrids that were larger, more beautiful, and colourful. The rest is history!

Sweet Peas in the Garden
Sweet peas are an annual that prefer full Sun and well-drained, rich, organic soil. They are climbers, growing from 6 to 10 feet tall depending on the variety. Make sure to give them good support using a trellis, arch, or fence.

In locations where frosts are more regular, plant in very late winter or early spring when the soil is dry enough to work in. Flowers bloom in the spring and the plant does not thrive in heat. Seeds can be started indoors before transplanting outside."

You can see the above words, images and all relevant links on this site here

I hope you enjoyed reading about April's flowers.
You may now like to read this post about 'Some Foods In Season During April' which also has some recipe suggestions - see here

All the best Jan

22 comments:

William Kendall said...

They're very pretty.

Christine said...

Thanks for sharing!

J.P. Alexander said...

Lindas flores te mando un beso.

roentare said...

You do good research into daisy!

Laura. M said...

Abril y preciosos sus regalos. Lindas flores.
Buen miércoles para Todos.
Un abrazo.

eileeninmd said...

Beautiful flowers, I love daisies!
Take care, have a wonderful day!

My name is Erika. said...

What a fun post. Nothing is better than flowers-especially at the end of the winter.

Snowbird said...

What a lovely post. Daughter was born in April so a really interesting read.xxx

Tom said...

...here can never be too many flowers.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I love reading about anything that involves my birth month. Thanks for the beautiful flowers, too, Jan.

Chatty Crone said...

Interesting to learn about the daisies - I love them.

Ananka said...

Pretty flowers Jan. Not really much up here apart from Daffodils. Excited to see more soon :-D

Breathtaking said...

Hello Jan :=)
I loved this article, and didn't know any of the content, and I love any daisy shaped flower, and the sweet smell of the Sweet-pea, so thank you for all the info.
All the best.

Bill said...

Interesting post and lovely flowers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info!

Those flowers are beautiful!

It makes me think of this, April showers and spring time flowers.

Sue said...

What a fun article, I never knew that about daisies! Take care and have a great week, Sue xx

sandy said...

a grandson turned 13 today - interesting article and i've always loved daisies and then sweet peas, never knew much about them until a trail i walk at the lake has a whole yard full of them when they bloom.

baili said...

wow what a delightful and gorgeous sharing dear Jan :)))

absolutely loved the introduction of flower whom i have seen so many time but now i know the meaning behind their beauty and mystery :)
thanks
hugs

Martha said...

Fun info about daisies. I adore them! I grow them in my garden and I can't wait to see them there soon.

Jeanie said...

I never think of sweet peas (or daisies, for that matter) in April here. But I love them both and have a huge sweet pea plant (or plants -- they all look like a bush when they come out) in the yard. Even a few make a generous bouquet!

Teresa said...

Son unas flores preciosas. Besos.

Conniecrafter said...

It is amazing the different things that flowers stand for we have many daisy weeds that grow along the roads here. Sweet peas are so pretty, so wonderful that the seeds can be shared and enjoyed throughout the world :)