As the weather begins to change in November to cooler nights and cloudy days, you may think there are going to be fewer flowers to see.
But even in chilly November, there are always flowers to find.
We are loving Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) which are large, very striking trumpet shaped flowers, often grown indoors from bulbs. Simple, classy and very beautiful and they will be taking pride of place in our upcoming events.
Originally from South and Central America and the Caribbean, Hippeastrum typically bloom in the winter, in contrast to its clone, the South African Amaryllis, which blooms in the summer. Hippeastrum travelled from Chile to Europe in 1840.
With its striking red colour, it is a typical Christmas product but other colours are in strong demand in the months bracketing Christmas.
The simple red poppy has become an enduring symbol for the many who lost their lives in the First World.
But why the red poppy? Well, poppies grow in disturbed earth throughout Western Europe. Their seeds can lay dormant for many years. The destruction brought about by the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th century transformed bare land into fields of blood red poppies blooming around the bodies of fallen soldiers. These fields were ripped open once more as World War One tore through the heart of Europe, and when the battle was done and all was quiet, the poppies bloomed where the blood had spilled.
It has been immortalised in one of the greatest poems war poems: In Flanders Fields by John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Don’t forget to buy your poppy for Sunday 11th November. Never forget.