The coming of Spring

“Spring has sprung, the grass is riz,

I wonder where the birdies is”.

The Brooklyn National Anthem

Sadly a rye version:

“Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, where last year’s reckless driver is”.


Well, Spring is coming! and all the flowers that can bloom are getting ready to thrust their gorgeous heads up through the greenery and take their stand among the plants that have held sway over these past few months. And that started me a’thinkin’ about one of my favourite flowers that comes out to play and regale us with its oh so perfumey (I know, no such word but it fits) scent – the freesia.

I remember these little blooms making their way up the garden path, filling in the cracks between the pavers and snaking through the other, some would say, more glorious flowers like the daffodil and the jonquil but, I always took to the freesia because I think it made me feel that I too could raise my head and be as one with others even though my origins may not have been as lofty. Many of the websites I used in my research about these flowers claim that freesias are difficult to grow in the ordinary garden but, in my experience, freesias grow anywhere there is a space and they self-seed so perhaps take that information with a grain of salt and just have a go at growing these flowers.

Meanings: Freesias convey a variety of meanings; trust, friendship, innocence, thoughtfulness, perseverance and being high-spirited. In the language of flowers, freesias were traditionally used to convey friendship however these days it is often recommended as a gift for those who are graceful under pressure. (I think this must be because of its graceful posture). The bell-shaped flower with an almost citrus fragrance comes in a variety of colours, but specific meanings are only attached to the white or yellow freesias. The traditional yellow flower is said to signify friendship while the white freesia is used as an expression of innocence. The long-lasting cut flower is used as part of wedding décor and in bridal bouquets and here these flowers represent innocence and trust.

Herbalism and Medicine: Because of its sweet-smelling blossoms freesias are used in aromatherapy oils, cosmetics, soaps, creams, shampoos and potpourri.  When freesia oil is mixed into candles a calming aroma results which promotes relaxation. To relieve a stressful work area, place a bunch of freesias in a vase and breathe in the serenity (as they say in The Castle).

Numerology: The freesia is represented by the number 9 which signifies the characteristics of selflessness, obligation, patience and having a humanitarian nature. For those with a mathematical bent this number, when multiplied, always reproduces itself.

The Message of the freesia varies depending on the presentation. It is appropriate as a gift between friends, as thank you or as an expression of your trust. Although the flowers are small, their fragrance will quickly fill a room which speaks to the fact that not all things need to be large to be effective. 

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