Tip the buttercup and sound the bellflower, happy birthday, little miss, gardener and friend.
Basil (Ocynum basilicum) "For those who have a tendency to separate the experience of spirituality from that of sexuality. They may be secretive about sex, regarding it as sinful while finding illicit sexual practices attractive and compelling, typically leading to clandestine behavior, bifurcated relationships or sexual addiction. Integrates sexuality and spirituality into a sacred wholeness." -Clare G. Harvey, The New Encyclopedia of Flower Remedies
Something to consider while you enjoy your Caprese salad...
"It follows that blue and white are the choices of the discriminating, and your real garden snob will go so far as to cast whole gardens in one or the other. White has perhaps the higher status. White flowers have always had an aura of luxury and expense, partly because so many of them are imported from warmer climates and must be grown under glass. In the eighteenth century, which put a much higher value on scent than we do, the fact that they were also heavily perfumed made white flowers such as the gardenia and the tuberose favorites with collectors. But white is also a distinctively modern color, or un-color, because of its cool neutrality." -Eleanor Perenyi, Green Thoughts: A Writer in the Garden
Scabiosa 'Black Knight' adds drama to the cutting bed with its ruffled, deep maroon blooms. Perfect for low maintenance gardens (and absentee gardeners), seeds sown in my Kentucky plot produced loose mounds with abundant long stem, long-lasting flowers well into fall. Plant with other dark beauties such as hollyhock 'The Watchman,' bachelor's button 'Black Magic' or the ornamental pepper, 'Black Pearl' for stunning results.
It always seemed to me that the herbaceous peony is the very epitome of June. Larger than any rose, it has something of the cabbage rose's voluminous quality; and when it finally drops from the vase, it sheds its petticoats with a bump on the table, all in an intact heap, much as a rose will suddenly fall, making us look up from our book or conversation, to notice for one moment the death of what had still appeared to be a living beauty. - Vita Sackville-West
Paeonia 'Festiva Maxima' (pictured) was one of a several peonies that found a home in my mom's backyard thanks to a fellow intern at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Construction of the current Herb Garden began the year we were there (2008) and included clearing these herbaceous plants from the site. My colleague rescued a fair sample of white, pink, and red varieties. Every spring, when they bloom in late May, I think of George and appreciate this enduring gift.