“All gardening is a labor of love. Professionals who earn their living at it are rarely less enthusiastic than are the amateurs who dig and sweat and weed and mulch with so much fervor.For most of us this enthusiasm stems out of our own past. Few people fail to carry in their memories pictures of a child gathering spring beauties or windflowers in the thin April sunshine; combing a hillside for violets; or squatting in a wood inarticulate but happy at the sight of some rare flower –a painted trillium or a showy orchis.
Out of such memories come botanists, horticulturists, plain dirt gardeners, and flower lovers of all kinds. Out of such memories grew my own lifelong interest in flowers that blossomed eventually into an acute curiosity about flowers in the past. What roles have flowers played throughout history? What relationships have they had with man over all the thousands of years that he has known and loved and used them?
The story of flowers is, in however minor a sense, part of the story of mankind. This book gives the histories of some of our most familiar garden flowers set against the backdrop of human history.”
Reading some old English was intriguing. It was between Latin and bad spelled English. I was astonished to see how they use than to mean then. Oylle is oil, boke book, secretes, secrets, which we call secretos in Spanish.
At the time I was reading The Hidden Art of Homemaking, I was reading in Flower Chronicles about the tulip and the poor Dutch factory workers who grew them from seed, -which took seven years or more-, and who tended to their tulips after full long days at their factories, providing shelter for the delicate tulips by depriving themselves of some of their already scarce clothing. These men did not raise tulips for profit, sometimes that did not come, they clang to the tulips as their only source of beauty, they had a relationship with these plants that gave their dull inhuman lives a meaning. They valued the mosaic colored tulips without knowing the cause of that is a virus. Today gardeners can replicate the effect without the virus present in the plant.Fascinating too was to read about the use of plants on cooking and medicine, the whole book was nice. Flower Chronicles is now one of my favorites.