January 16th

War ... and Peace? xx

Flowers are often the peacemakers but they have a strong link with war too.
If you are an eight year old attending the Findern primary school in Derbyshire it is likely that you know more than most about how war can fuel an explosion of flowers across the world. This is because your school emblem is the Findern flower, a variety of narcissus that Sir Geoffery de Fynderne brought back with him from the crusades. Sir Geoffery may well have gathered more exotic treasures too, such as spices, jewels, or even drugs, but today it is the humble narcissus that still survives and bobs its head by the village green. Over the course of many hundreds of years flower varieties, like the narcissus, have been captured as bounty from wars in far off lands. Including by Pharoh Thutmosis I, who was purloining irises from Syria long before Sir Geoffrey ever thought of venturing into the Holy Lands. Nowadays the narcissus’s sweet fragrance is synonymous with sharp spring mornings and frost-edged fields dotted with cotton wool lambs. But in the lingering richness that lies at the heart of its heady perfume we may still catch a whisper of half forgotten tales of Arabian Nights. 

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