Messages In My Garden

Over the weekend, Coach and I had a barn sale to get rid of some old books and old stuff (basically to make way for some new old stuff).


We did quite well, thank you, and managed to make some dough while making some space in the barn, so that’s a good thing. Our two story barn sits adjacent to our home, with a white picket fence and arbored entrance connecting them. The fence separates the driveway, where all of the “junque” for sale was displayed, and our back yard, which is sectioned into a stone patio, a perennial garden with a small pond, a rose garden, a second perennial garden divided down the center by a brick pathway leading to yet another arbor.

Red Rose Bush

As potential customers moved closer to the barn to search for treasures, the gardens were in full view, and I overheard more than a few folks exclaim “what an incredible yard”, “such beautiful gardens” and “it’s like an oasis” that we have hidden behind the fence. Now, I am not going to take any credit for this, as the green thumb in the family belongs to Coach. Other than an occasional “grab a few weeds as I am playing fetch with the dog” kind of gardening, I simply do not have the time nor the inclination to nurse the flowers, shrubs and occasional green frogs that habitate our back yard. This little guy is actually quite noisy!

Frog In Lilies Closeup

As luck would have it, I just finished reading “The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  Without revealing the plot, I will share that the book follows the story of a troubled young woman who finds her way in life through the meanings of flowers. Never having given this a thought, I nevertheless found the idea of flowers having true meaning quite compelling, and I started looking at our gardens in a new light. Although we have literally hundreds of varied flora and fauna, I am sharing just a few of my favorites. The Black-Eyed Susan’s that are scattered in bunches throughout stand for Justice. I like having those in the garden.

Black Eyed Susans

And the simple Daisy, my favorite flower,


and the name of our much-beloved and now since passed best furry friend. She loved to lay out on the grass in the sun, surrounded by the gardens. Daisies stand for Innocence.

Daisy in the Garden

Intertwined with the Daisies are these pretty yellow flowers. Growing in abundance, we have to keep cutting them back or they overtake everything. I don’t have the meaning of them, because I don’t know their name, but I will call them Happiness. (If anyone can identify them, please tell me so I can share their true meaning!)

Daisies and Yellow Flower

We do have a Dogwood that just flowered for the first time this spring. Unfortunately, as with much of the garden this time of year, the beautiful flowers have gone by, and we are left with the leafy greens. But they will return next spring, so… Love Undiminished By Adversity.

Flowering Dogwood

There is quite a bit of fern that grows naturally in the shady parts of the yard. Simple and green and soft to the touch. Sincerity. 


An entire grapevine arbor behind the barn grows larger each season, sprouting curly tendrils that reach out in all directions.

Grapevine on Tree

The more you cut it, the higher and wider and stronger it grows, which is great for making grapevine wreaths!  Abundance


Just recently, the Hibiscus has blossomed, with massive, stunning blooms the size of dinner plates in multiple shades of pinks and reds.

Raspberry Hibiscus

But they shrivel and die quickly, to be replaced by even more exquisite blooms. Hence the meaning…Delicate Beauty

Peppermint Stripe Hibiscus

Along the entire length of the stone-walled perennial garden are the tightly-packed Iris.  Message


And along the porch are holly shrubs, like the kind you see at Christmas with the bright red berries. Presently they are yellow, but as the seasons change, so does the hue, a harbinger of winter to come. Their meaning is Foresight.

Holly Berries

And then there is Ivy, loads of it growing over the stones surrounding the pond, essentially hiding everything but the water. (I call it the chia pet pond).  A strong vine that grows freely but creates strong,protective bonds with everything within its green grasp. Fidelity.

Pond with frog

And scattered through all of the gardens are Phlox. In every shade of white, pink and purple. they constantly cross-pollinate (thank you, bees!) and sprouting new pastel shades each year. Our Souls Are United


Periwinkle borders much of the brick walkways and stone-lined paths. For one short moment each season they display their pretty little purple buds. Tender Recollections

Periwinkle Border

The magnificent orange tiger lilies bloom for a very short time, then leave behind a wall of green stalks. But while in bloom, they are Majestic.

Tiger Lillies

And then there are roses. All shades of pinks and reds.

Hot Pink Rocket Roses

I am not particularly fond of roses. Why is something so beautiful apt to cause so much pain? And yet the messages are of Love (the reds)

Red Roses

and Grace (the pinks).

Pink Rose

So, the next time you stop to admire a beautiful garden, or choose a bouquet as a loving gift, just for a moment think about the meaning of the flowers, not just the colors or style. You’ll be surprised at the messages those blooms can convey. Have a meaningful Monday, everyone!! Susan


  1. So beautiful Susan and Coach! I think the yellow flower might be a type of primrose. They are pretty invasive so keep an eye on them! 🙂 Such a pretty garden!


  2. says:

    Great column. I really liked that book. Glad you remembered all the meanings of the flowers; keeping this on file.


  3. Such gorgeous gardens. Thanks for sharing!


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