don't forget to smell the flowers









I don’t recall the very first time I heard the expression ‘Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers’. I have always loved flowers and blooms, their myriad colours and forms … and scents. My love of flowers has stayed constant while the way I look at them changes constantly. When I learned about plants and what flowers are for, the way they entice and mimic … the way the look different under ultraviolet or infra-red. The way we use flowers to say things … from red roses for love through a whole spectrum of colours to black roses for death … ‘say it with roses’ indeed! Flowers as symbols of the transience of life. Fake flowers ranging from the trashy to the profoundly elegant. I learned about flowers as genetic markers, indicators of weed species, the passing of seasons, their rarity and their basic commonality. The sound of bees in trees in Springtime. The carpets of riotous colour beneath flowering camellia. I learned their smells … I’d like to retire somewhere where I can smell the scent of frangipani blossoms … the heady scents of Spring and warm breezes. Native Australian flowers whose scents pass into honey, bulbs, trees, bushes dripped with rain or dew. And then I started to take photographs of them.

And sometimes I don’t see them, or smell them, or sense them … I’m busy doing something else, preoccupied. Sometimes I sit and just watch them and think as I’m doing now about all the different ways I see them. The day I saw my children learning to sniff their first flower nearly made me cry. My advice … don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers 🙂

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