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Flowers For Lou

Peony

Flowers For Lou

I usually keep Sundays silent but today would have been my dear friend, Lou’s forty fifth birthday. I like to celebrate her life and the time I had with her, as my friend and my housemate, with flowers! This year I have some beautiful peonies to share and a little quote about the etymology of their name:

The Etymological Meaning Of The Peony Flower

The Peony is best known by its scientific name, Paeonia. This is only the name of the genus – individual varieties of Peony feature different individual Latin names. The Peony takes its name from the mythological Greek character Paeon, who studied with the god of medicine known as Asclepius. Zeus had to transform the student into a beautiful flower when he showed more promise than his teacher and incurred his wrath.

Peonies originate from China, as do so many of our favourite blooms. The translation, from the Chinese names this flower “most beautiful”. It really is and so was Lou, especially when she laughed.

19 comments on “Flowers For Lou

  1. A beautiful tribute to your friend Lou’s memory. The Peony is one of my favourite flowers but I didn’t know the etymology of its name, so thank you for that. xx

    • Thanks Ardys πŸ™‚ Lou loved being out in the garden so paying tribute to her every year with flowers that she loved has become my way of spreading the joy she brought into my life. My mum has always adored peonies and we had some real beauties growing in my childhood garden. It was many years before I discovered just how many of our flowers originate from China. The peony is their national flower! I love the story of how it was given it’s common name but then I love anything quirky to do with Greek mythology. When we’re in Kos, as we will be in about 36 hours, we always go to the Asklepion and visit the Hippocrates Tree (where he taught) in Kos Town. As the father of modern medicine he’s a bit like a saint to me so the visits are a bit of pilgrimage to say thank you! Lou had Crohn’s like me, it was actually how we met and became friends. I like to think that the gods of Greece (and others!) may have turned her into a flower because she was so adept at making people smile πŸ˜€

      • My grandparents’ garden had lots of peonies and while they were blooming my grandfather would wander around all day with a peony in his hand, sniffing it every so often. Two of my family members have Crohn’s so I am familiar with it. Enjoy your time in Kos.

      • Oh what a wonderful memory!!! Thanks for sharing it Ardys πŸ™‚ It can be a cruel disease. I know some people who manage to get stable and remain so on just a few of the more common medications. I have also met people who have even shorter bowel than me, living with TPN and waiting for temporary bowel transplants!! And most of the time you wouldn’t notice that we were unwell from just looking at us. I do hope that your family members are relatively stable at the moment and happy in their lives! Kos is going to be a very good medication πŸ˜‰

  2. Beautiful. Peonies are special – they take me straight back to my grandma who had them planted all around the wells in her garden. Stunning flowers, perfect as a tribute to your friend.

    • Thanks Chris πŸ™‚ It always takes me back to childhood in a little Surrey village with a big garden and the most glorious deep red peony that was mum’s pride and joy! It was such a sumptuous flower πŸ˜€ Lou loved my art and loved flowers too! I shall have to do different flowers every year I think πŸ™‚

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