Saturday, July 3, 2010

Nothing less than gratitude

A friend of mine completed the first draft of a screenplay recently, so I took her a little bouquet.

There isn’t much in bloom in my native plant garden at this time of year (and wildflowers often don’t make the greatest bouquets anyway), so I clipped some lavender, which is gorgeous enough to draw the hummingbirds, and added a few sprigs of oregano for greenery. It was a pretty little tussie-mussie and she can eat it too, if she gets hungry enough.

Only after I gave it to her did I wonder whether there was some subtext. Was I saying something beyond the obvious “Congratulations!”?

According to, apple blossom represents hope and good fortune, edelweiss is for daring and courage, and…oh dear. Lavender symbolizes distrust. says that convolvulus represents humble perseverance – and doesn’t that sum up the writing process? Not to mention the traits required to keep morning glory under control in the garden.

Sweet basil is for good luck, thyme is for courage and activity – two other hallmarks of writers. The same site says that lavender is for constancy – a far cry from the distrust of the other site. That makes me feel better.

But whatever other herbs and flowers go into a bouquet, the plant that should be central in any writer’s tribute is agrimony. It’s been used to treat all manner of ailments and even wards off the devil, which is handy. However, along with its many physical and spiritual benefits, what it symbolizes is thankfulness.

And isn't that what we feel when we meet a big challenge? Whether it's painting a house or a portrait, finishing a race, or writing a story – we're glad it's over.

apple blossom photo by Josef Petrek, morning glory photo by Andrew Schmidt


  1. Will be rushing out to get agrimony for sure! Lovely post: well thought out! Thank you.

  2. I foresee a lot of agrimony bouquets.

    Finish a draft of your book? Agrimony, basil and thyme.
    Get a painting in a coveted art show? Agrimony again.
    Agent interested in your work? Agrimony.

    I think I'll buy stock in a nursery. And some agrimony.