698. We might live with the angels that visit us on every sunbeam, and sit with the fairies who wait on every flower. ~Samuel Smiles

Finger-like ancient
flowers dating back to the
reign of Edward III

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Freckled are your tube-
like prettily colored bells
that look like a glove

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And are a lurking
place of the wee folk who clap
the fairy thunder

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Stately foxglove with
the lambs-tongue-leaves you thrill
the eye and heal hearts

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But beware to all
who know not you can kill a
man as well as heal

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Favorite of mine
are you in the garden but
grow you not in heat

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So it is that I
must find you early in the
year to grow in pots

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Where a favorite
of the buzzing bees and
my camera are you

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Because you see
I love your freckly poetry
of apostrophes

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My blogging friend, Bette Stevens, posted this week that April is national poetry month, and so I set out to write a series of haikus about a favorite flower of mine. I’m certainly no poet but I had fun trying to tell some of the lore about this flower in haiku fashion. Along with the verses are photos I’ve taken and others I found on Pinterest.

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. ~Isaiah 40:8   ✝

393. For so work the honey-bees, creatures that by a rule in nature teach the act of order to a peopled kingdom. ~William Shakespeare

Veiled in this fragile filigree of wax is the essence of sunshine,
golden and limpid, tasting of grassy meadows, mountain wildflowers,
lavishly blooming orange trees, or scrubby desert weeds…
The nectar collected by the bee is
the spirit and sap of the plant, its sweetest juice.
Honey is the flower transmuted,
its scent and beauty transformed into aroma and taste.
~Stephanie Rosenbaum

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O little bee a buzzing at your task,
is it lavender that speaks your name,
or do the coneflowers and rudbeckia,
tempt your hunger even more.
What about the roses and the jasmine
or French Hollyhock and foxglove?
Or might it be those flashy daylilies and
Spirea that recently bloomed in pink?
Grand indeed are the garden’s gifts,
And you appear to love them one and all
for everywhere that I have been
I’ve found you working there as well.
Whilst I busy myself with garden chores
I do keep a watchful eye on you
for I’d love to find your hive one day
and taste your nectar honey’s sweet.
~Natalie Scarberry

Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. ~Proverbs 24:13 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

297. Hand in hand, with fairy grace, will we sing, and bless this place. ~William Shakespeare, English poet and playwright

No child but must remember laying his head in the grass,
staring into the infinitesimal forest
and seeing it grow populous with fairy armies.
~Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish poet

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Digitalis, from the Latin Digitabulum, a thimble, derives its common name from the shape of its flowers that resemble the finger of a glove.  It’s a flower we call Foxglove, which delights to grow in deep hollows and woody dells.  However, it was originally called Folksglove because that’s where they, fairies or “good folk,” were thought to live.  Folksglove is one of the oldest names for Digitalis (Foxglove) and is mentioned in a list of plants as old as the time of Edward III.  The earliest known form of the word is the Anglo-Saxon foxes glofa (the glove of the fox, and the Norwegian name Revbielde that translates to Foxbell alludes to the Fox.  It is a name which may have come about from a northern legend about bad fairies who supposedly gave the blossoms of Digitalis to foxes to be put upon their toes so as to soften their tread when prowling amongst the roosts.

I adore Foxglove and believe no other flower in the garden lends itself better to stories of fairies and elves than it does.  Its dangling thimbles or gloves or bells or fingers or whatever one might call them look like enchanted, magical places where children would naturally look for the “wee folk” to lurk.  Nor is it surprising that there have been suppositions claiming the mottling in the flowers mark, like the spots on butterfly wings and on the tails of peacocks and pheasants, where elves have placed their fingers.  Though no longer a child, I have to agree in part with the writer Charles de Lint who penned, “We call them faerie.  We don’t believe in them.  Our loss.”  Sometimes, it does one a world of good to remember what it was like to be an imaginative child, full of awe and wonder and given to flights of fantasy.

Happy is he who still loves
something he loved in the nursery:
He has not been broken in two by time;
he is not two men, but one,
and he has saved not only his soul but his life.
~G. K. Chesterton, English writer, poet,
and lay theologian

If we opened our mind with enjoyment, we might
find tranquil pleasures spread about us on every side.
We might live with the angels that visit us on every sunbeam,
and sit with the fairies who wait on every flower.
~Samuel Smiles, Scottish author

May the Lord give you increase, both you and your children.  May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth.  ~Psalm 115:14-15   ✝