Master Gardener President

Darwin Bell can be reached by emailor phone: 205-602-2582.

Darwin Bell

President's Message

There is nothing more versatile than the relationship between flowers and humans. The range of emotions and feelings expressed by the act of giving flowers is truly impressive. In fact, it encompasses the entire range of human emotions including feelings of joy and celebration to sorrow and loss. It can serve the important role of expressing our emotions on occasions in which we are lost for words. According to the website use of flowers to express emotions or in celebrations and rituals can be traced at least back to the Egyptians. Depicted in drawings, flowers were offered to the dead and laid in tombs. Greek and Romans believed that flowers could be used to express emotion and status. Probably all of us have seen Roman movies where victorious athletes and returning warriors were adorned with floral crowns. According to the Victorian era may have been the zenith of giving flowers with the development of Floriography which is the secret language of flowers. There are currently books available that detail the meaning of flowers and plants and how they were used to communicate. In the Victorian age this culminated in the use of flowers to pass messages to lovers, friends and even enemies. Back then receiving a hydrangea would mean - heartless, an azalea - take care of yourself, buttercup - childishness, dill - lust, and especially interesting basil meant - I hate you. There are countless other examples. It was a language unto itself! Even the presentation of flowers had meaning. Roses which normally are given as an expression of love, presented upside down meant a relationship was over.

I have only scratched the surface of this fantastic world of our relationship with flowers. As Master Gardeners we should be aware that when we give flowers and plants from our gardens to others that we are carrying on a tradition that is many generations old. Just don’t give basil!

Darwin Bell


JCMGA 2022