here you will do well to linger; here our highest good is pleasure”

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Jule 1, 2020

Some of the toughest men in history were actually rather partial to a bunch of flowers and on occasion even took them into battle.

Symbolising strength, victory and pride, the Gladiolus takes its name from the latin diminutive of ‘gladius’ (meaning sword) and in Roman times the striking flowers were worn for luck round the necks of gladiators, eager as they were to avoid becoming a pin cushion in combat.
IMG_5952_20-07-01_Broken_Clock_Lingering_Vodka_Gladioli.jpg Another gentleman whose life was dedicated to flowers was William Herbert (1778-1847); an English botanist who was one of the first to recognise the concept of ‘survival of the fittest’ in plants and who also pioneered the breeding of the first Gladiolus hybrids during the Georgian period.

Herbert’s theory on ‘the struggle for existence’ saw him select the strongest plants for breeding by seeing which individual examples competed hardest during the growing season and which conquered the frosty British winters. His pioneering work earned him high praise from Charles Darwin in his 1859 book On the Origin of the Species.

Gladioli are also flowers associated with longing and passion, with the feeling of infatuation being likened with that of being pierced through the heart with a sword.