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Philosophy - about flowers - must they be perfect ?

This is a discussion on Philosophy - about flowers - must they be perfect ? within the The Outback Terrace Bar forums, part of the Land Plants category; ...

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  1. #1
    Dorsetman's Avatar
    Dorsetman is offline Senior Member
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    Default Philosophy - about flowers - must they be perfect ?

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    Do you find the jug of roses beautiful ? Or marred by the fading blooms ?
    My wife loves them when perfect, but prefers me not to pick them because she does not like them when they fade, drop petals, hang their heads etc, which they do so soon… ( I picked these whilst she is in hospital – will dispose of them before she returns home, sometime quite soon). But to me the fading etc is no problem, it adds a certain elegant nostalgic quality , it is so natural, and real ; nothing stays perfect for long .so why not go on enjoying them when imperfect ? So imperfect can be beautiuful too , I say. It is a philosophical thing .. A useful idea for life itself too ? , I think.
    But orchid growers are primarily in for the aesthetics , the beauty, the charm, the splendour, even ( if you like jazzy bright cattleyas) the sheer magnificence. So will orchid growers give my jug of roses the thumbs up, or thumbs down ?
    Do tell me what you think.
    By the way this particular rose was bred in the English Midlands and is one of a series called David Austin’s New English Roses . At one time I had a large rose garden entirely [planted with these in many different varieties – but it is such a lot of sheer hard physical work ( all that pruning, spraying, mulching) that I gave up when I moved house some years ago. In my quite small garden now, hardly big enough to quote the area in fractions of an acre, I have just a couple of dozen, and these do not form a rose garden as such, but are dotted here and there.

  2. #2
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    That is pretty. I keep my flowers til they fall apart. For some reason they seem to smell more intensely when they're on their way out.

  3. #3
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    I think beauty of these roses are matched when they are attached to the plant. There they get all the care needed, they are nestled amongst thorns and visited by bees. How unfortunate that they had to be dismembered simply to meet a jug and face premature death. This natural form is best suited naturally, picture most perfect like it was before the roses met the jug. The ones in their prime will face an abrupt ending and those buds will not face the light ever again. Even comparing them with living orchids is a taboo in my eyes, I would never do. Nothing stays perfect for long but it takes its own time to diminish and gracefully. An arm dies with the body, never ever a human thought that it would keep fresh and beautiful in a jug of blood. Fading is never the problem, what matters is how it happens. One can think of appreciating it fully like it happens. In your subconsciousness, could it be you have rather given up on roses altogether? Then you might have the feeling their fading has nothing to do with beauty but eventuality.

  4. #4
    PaphMadMan is offline Senior Member
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    There is great and ever-changing beauty in the entire bloom cycle, from the first hint of a bud to the last fallen petal, just as a woman has a different kind of beauty at 16 or 40 or 90. I think this type of rose illustrates that better than most flowers. It happens more naturally on the plant, and they may last longer, but they die either way. Does it bring more joy knowing they are out there to see in the garden in fleeting Platonic perfection, or right there on your table where you experience the cycle as well as the beauty? Do we garden to attain the perfect moment of beauty and pretend that is reality, or to feel a connection to the natural cycles of life that are not always beautiful? I'm sure the answer is not the same for all people, or at all times, but philosophy aside, a tight green bud or a wilted bloom just isn't going to get a ribbon at an orchid show. Is that good or bad? Discuss....

  5. #5
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    I used to love cut flowers. Then I began raising orchids. Now to see a flower cut makes me sad. I prefer all flowers on the plant, unless they are so profuse that the plants display will not suffer for the loss of a few for my vases. And your roses are just beautiful. I need to water the front a little more often so my roses will do better...they just don't grow well here. You have to buy them with special root stock or they just wither.

  6. #6
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    An interesting question, Geoff.

    With plants like orchids, I do generally find it rather criminal to use them as cut flowers. But then, the plants I have are all small enough to be placed on the table or other locations to show case the flowers while they are in bloom. With roses and other large outdoor plants that is obviously not possible. The question, I feel, then becomes ... "How will I derive more enjoyment from them?" When temperatures are in the 90's F as they have been the last week or so, I know I for one would not be outside much if at all. In which case, any roses or other outdoor flowers might as well not even be there. If on the other hand I were to cut them and bring them in, then at least I'd get to enjoy them for a little while. Then there is the point Connie brought up -- if a plant like a rose bush is producing an abundance of blooms, why not bring some in to enjoy for however long they last? (I would have to admit though that if the flowers still look nice but the stems are getting wilty, I have made use of wire like florist wire to get them to stand up again. )

  7. #7
    Dorsetman's Avatar
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    Actually, I don't cut much from the garden: but my greenhouse is hidden from view by a "wall" of trellis covered with wisteria, ceanothus, clematis, roses etc , and some long growths not staked or tied in - very lush and long after our "summer" weather this year (the absolute wettest June ever, since records began in 1692 or something similar) blew down in some strong winds, and remained there for a time because I have spent so much of my time doing other things like hospital visiting ( about 4 hours per day for the past few days) and when I did do something about them, it was easiest to prune the plants back to a tidy shape ,and instead of shredding the prunings, I put some in the jug, stood back to admire, realised some blooms were spoiled by the wind and rain, but nevertheless thought them lovely.... Which is when I thought to start this thread.

  8. #8
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    I think beauty is in the context too. A gift of cut flowers get more attention from me versus a store bought bundle that I pick up when nothing is blooming at home. I think the visual arrangement of your jug of roses is very nice. I can see the flowers are on their way out but can appreciate and pretty much guess how stunning they must have been at their prime. When I get cut flowers as a gift for the opening of a play, I try to sustain the blooms as long as possible. As they fail, I remove and re-vase the blooms until all have had their chance to be appreciated. I like to cut a single rose to bring inside and put in a vase in my kitchen window. But I really like to admire them on the rose bush instead, so most of mine go through their cycle on the bush until they have withered and I go out and dead-head the rose bushes. Very interesting topic, Geoff. Thanks.

    cheers,
    BD

  9. #9
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    I give your roses a

    I have a hard time to se ugglyness in any stage of a flowers life, it is just differnet kind of emotions that is evoked in me during the lifecycle.

  10. #10
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    Perfection? Shudder!! I hope not, or I'm in serious trouble! Nature isn't perfect, but we revel in the gifts she provides. You care for the rose plants, and they offer their thanks with these beauties. We offer our thanks, too, for your sharing them.

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