Saturday, 28 February 2009

Day 34-The 12 Royal Blooms

Dedicating to Mercedes and all lovers of flowers, I present to you the 12 royal blooms of My Maharajah's Palace.
After I did the oriental rosette arrangement on Day 33 and upon agreeing with Mercedes that everyone can use more flowers, these are the other 12 mini polymer clay flowers I bought on Day 34. These wonderful flowers were on 1/2 price for 90 cents to S$1.50 for a pack of 4-12. I think people use them for necklaces because I found them at a beads shop. Flowers range in sizes from 3/16" (smallest) to slightly more than 1/2" (like the Peacock Peonies above). I had done some research to see what the flowers are (can't have them all be roses) and so they bear very close resemblance to their real life namesakes. Although some of the names are invented by me, the genus of the flower used is accurate eg Peacock Peony ("peacock"-invented, "peony"- accurate).

Peacock Peony
-imported from China, its national flower during the Qing Dynasty. It is also known as the "flower of riches and honour".

Budding Magnolias-is an ancient genus, having evolved even before bees appeared. This specie is known especially for its anti-anxiety qualities and is used frequently to calm the nerves of young brides.
Only the creme de la creme of these Crimson Dahlias (also known as the "Peony of India") are used in a Hindu's worship of her Gods and Goddesses.

Black Narcissus is popularly believed to have been reincarnated from the Greek God, Narcissus. The lesser known derivation is that the plant is named after its narcotic properties (narkoa meaning "to numb" in Greek) which explains why Prince and Jai has a pot of this plant in each of their room.

Blue Cabbage, believes by the world to be the "vegetable to surpass all other vegetables" is the staple in many Indian dishes and an especial favourite in the palace kitchen.

Carnations aka coronation flowers, are grown in respect of the late Maharani Devi, who died 10 years ago, as a symbol of the purity of a mother's love. Her cat, Xerxes, whom old servants claimed has been with the Maharani since she was a maiden, can often be seen picking these flowers to where he rests and relaxes.

Japanese Camillias, the tea plant, is of major commercial importance because tea is made from its leaves. This is also the emblematic flower of New Zealand, where our dear Mercedes is now.
Purple Daffodils, the less potent of its cousin, the Black Narcissus,but nonetheless the prettier relation, is kept as a back up to when the other narko runs out.

Cactus Flowers, known to bloom only in the bluest of the blue moon. It is usually large, scented and gloriously beautiful. Its occurrences is believed to herald the arrival of an auspicious event like the birth of a child or an impending union.

Blue Gardenia plants are prized for the strong sweet scent of their flowers and is extremely rare and difficult to grow. The flower is used as a unique dye for expensive saris, priced for its rarity This shade of blue known as "Palace Blue" can be produced only from these blooms in the palace. (this one's for you, Sumaiya as I know you like elephant ornaments)

Orange Chinese Belles ("Chinese Bellflowers") when immersed in the baths of the Maharajah, eases cold and cough, lightens your skin and creates a sweet scent emanating from your pores.

Saffron Runuculus- As a special tribute to Zoe , I present to you, this endearing story I found at her Blog, Garden Hopping about runuculus (by the way, any resemblance to the palace story I posted yesterday is purely conicidental, I swear! Read Zoe's blog if you don't believe me)

"I usually have at least one plant in bloom in my garden, so thought I would write about one these on a Friday, to try ensure I posted once a week at least. I have been potting up some Ranuculus, and became curious about the name while planting them; it is an odd word on the ears. Having done some Horticultural studies in the past, and having learned botanical Latin nomenclature as part of that, I was intrigued to find out the roots of the name, so dug out my copy of Stearn's Dictionary to discover Rana was Frog and Ranunculus was little or small frog!

This intrigued me further, because there was nothing frog like in the appearance of this plant or it uncultivated cousins, Buttercups or Marsh Marigolds, except for their penchant for wet boggy conditions too. Maybe this was the reason? Not satisfied with that explanation I went searching on the Internet and found a version I much prefer, a story of an Asian Prince.

'In fairy tales frogs are apt to change into princes and it was an Asian prince in just such a story who gave his name to this flower, which grows naturally in swampy ground. The prince was so good-looking that he was loved by everyone. He also had a beautiful voice but this was his undoing. He loved the open country and sang delightful songs in the presence of nymphs. He did not have the courage to declare his love to them and this haunted him so much that he died. After his death he was changed into the flower with delicate tissuey petals which bears his name.'

' The king's daughter was overjoyed when she beheld her pretty plaything again, picked up, and ran away with it. '

Illustration by Warwick Goble to The Frog Prince

All through history plants have been used as symbolic allegory, especially in Medieval times for moral and religious symbols and Victorian times as a language of love. I am not aware of any specific meaning attached to Buttercups and Ranunculus in earlier times, but in the Victorian allegorical flower language Ranunculus symbolised 'You are rich in attractions' when offered in a posy or bouquet."

Thank you Zoe, here, a posy of runuculus for you.


Eva said...

I love all the flowers that you make and the complements, they looks beutiful. And it is fantastic the explanation. It 's great

Liberty Biberty said...

Oh San! You make me so happy! You must have had fun at the 'flower shop'. I'll go looking in the bead shops here (a couple of years ago there were heaps of them but now beading is not so 'trendy', I think there may be one or two shops left) but there is no way I'll find anything that cheap.
You've done so well! I love them all. I have a real life magnolia tree outside my front door and the blooms are exactly the same colour as you minis!
Thank you for dedicating this post to me, I am truly honoured my friend.

San said...

Eva, very happy that you enjoy my little post cos I have always enjoyed yours.

And Merce, hope you find your flowers. If not, let me know if you want them sent from Singapore. I will be very happy to do it for you. Its quite often people bring orchids home from our airport, so why not in the mini world as well :)! Thrilled that my mini magnolias resembles yours (Yay!)

Sumaiya Mehreen said...

Thank you for the flowers :D ... I was admiring the elephant vase, and then I noticed your dedication! :D ... I love Gardenias; my parents have a Gardenia plant in their backyard. I also love Magnolias and Jasmines...white flowers with sweet fragrance...

Liberty Biberty said...

San, you are very kind. Maybe we could do a swap sometime. I'll have to see what I can come up with that would be worthy of your Maharajah's Palace!

San said...

SWAP?! How EXCITING!! Yes, Yes, let's do that!

San said...

Sumaiya, I have a jasmine plant at my home and on a rainy night, the scent is carried by the wind from the garden to my room. Heaven on earth...

Liberty Biberty said...

San, email me then, through my profile on my blog. Yay, fun!

San said...

Merce, I have emailed you last night. Title is "Flowers from San". Check your junk box :) to see if it has been accidentally trashed.

Liberty Biberty said...

Hi San,
I've passed on an award to you! Visit my blog to collect it sometime.

Meli said...

San, what lovely things you have!!! They are beatiful.
The crosstich that you have seen in my blog is not made on canvas it's linen cloth. Much more thin.
Thanks for your visit.
Best regards,

San said...

Things I acquired mainly from Little India :). I love them too, thanks Meli for popping by. I must get back to the cross stitch soon or I will take more than 2 years to complete 1 carpet.

Pubdoll said...

So beautiful flower and I loved reading your comments on them! Great mix of the informative and your creativity!

Sans said...

LOL! Email me , Helene.

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