Flower Power

Sweet peas are a sentimental favorite with Jello Mold 
Farm customers.  
Photo: Diane Szukovathy

Sweet peas are a sentimental favorite with Jello Mold 
Farm customers. 
Photo: Diane Szukovathy

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.” —Iris Murdoch

It’s spring—time to celebrate new growth, fresh foliage, and flowers! Beautiful blossoms delight. Whether it’s a dynamic, even raucous, sculpture garden, a recently reinvigorated rose collection, or a quiet public landscape filled with fragrance, spaces filled with flowers are joyful gathering places that mark the shifting seasons, nurture our spirits, and trigger wonderful memories.

A gift of flowers carries great meaning. The decorous—some might say repressed—Victorians developed an entire language by which couples could send secret messages with bouquets of carefully chosen blossoms. And their intentions were not always friendly; a recipient thought to be vain might be demurely chastened with a clutch of spring daffodils. Thankfully, such passive aggressive motives are but a quaint anecdote these days (I hope). Today, we openly celebrate, or mourn, with flowers. Read on to meet a few enterprising, local flower farmers who tend these crops that will in turn, become a conduit for some of our most intimate emotions, and mark life’s most significant occasions.

There’s no denying the power of gardens to engage our attention and lead us into a deeper relationship with the landscape and the environment around us. Perhaps no other creature—other than humans—cares so deeply about flowers than bees. So it seemed only fitting that our spring homage to flowers also address some of the very real challenges facing these important pollinators. Consider this issue to be a Pacific Horticulture-shaped bouquet of spring stories featuring West Coast gardens and gardeners. We hope you’ll share them with your friends and neighbors.