While driving through a shaded woodland dale along a familiar country road I spied the most glorious span of white flowers. For years I wondered the name and origin of this tiny blooms that seemed so long forgotten in modern landscapes. Stopping the car, I stepped out and quickly gathered a bundle of stems to include in this fresh arrangement of peonies and summer whites.
After consulting google, I discovered the flower's name to be cow parsley. Until recently, this meadow plant was ignored as too common or unexciting to warrant a florist's attention. Its modesty now complements the integrity of this pewter vase filled with cow parsley, fleabane daisy and white peonies. The textures and shapes blend in understated ways to create a mood of rural simplicity, while the contrasting shapes add stunning depth to the piece.
In my search to identify cow parsley, I stumbled upon this poetry that speaks to the beauty of nature, young love, and the longevity of botanicals from the past.
"Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass, -
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
'Neath billowing skies that scatter and amass.
All round our nest, far as the eye can pass,
Are golden kingcup-fields with silver edge
Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn-hedge.
'Tis visible silence, still as the hour-glass.
Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragon-fly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky: -
So this wing'd hour is dropt to us from above.
Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower,
This close-companioned inarticulate hour
When twofold silence was the song of love."
- Dante Gabriel Rossetti -
English poet, illustrator, painter and translator.
Fresh wildflowers remind us of restful environments, bring them indoors to create a calming space in your home.