Tag Archives: flowers

2405.  Pretty geraniums

Samantha’s next door neighbour, Anastasia, grew geraniums. There was a whole row of geraniums growing right along the boundary fence on Anastasia’s side. The gaps in the slats of the fence meant that Samantha could get her hand through the fence with a pair of scissors and pick a bunch of geraniums for her dining room table. Not that she cut them all from the same plant; just a bloom or two from here and there.

And of course the geranium flowering season lasted for months and months. Samantha was never short of floral arrangements during spring, summer, and autumn. Such lovely reds and pinks and whites to brighten the dullest of days!

There was a knock at Samantha’s door. It was Anastasia. Could she borrow a cup of sugar?

“Come in! Come in!” said Samantha, quite forgetting the pilfered geranium arrangement on her dining table.

“Oh look!” said Anastasia, “I have geraniums in my garden exactly like that.”

“I know,” said Samantha. “It’s what inspired me to go to the market and buy these!”

“Would you like some plants?” asked Anastasia. Oh yes, indeed!

That evening, Anastasia pulled out her geraniums, sprayed them with weed killer, and threw them over the fence. She wanted to grow agapanthuses anyway.

2356. My Valentine

Look, I don’t believe in Valentine’s Day. It’s yet another thing invented by sales people to make a buck or two. Those who sell chocolates and roses and cards must be making a packet. They’re swimming in dough. So for that reason I don’t support such superficial observances.

My friend, Sandra, commemorates Valentine’s Day. Her boyfriend always sends her a dozen roses; although he never lets on that it’s him, but we all know it’s him that sends them. Sandra is always over the moon and goes sloppy and it’s pathetic to see her go on and on about love and nonsense. She’s like a wet dishcloth when it comes to love – all a bit slimy and yucky. I’m not surprised she would commemorate something as phoney as Valentine’s. I’m not into bogus things like that.

This is the second year that no one has sent me flowers.

2311. My secret admirer

It’s amazing. Every Thursday around three o’clock flowers are delivered to my house. Today is Friday, and yesterday the florist delivered a gorgeous bunch of red carnations. They were bright, bright red. I don’t know much about the meaning of flowers but secretly I was hoping that red carnations might stand for love.

It is so exciting to think that I have a secret admirer; in fact, more than that; someone who is infatuated by me. It could well be that. This business of flowers being delivered around three every Thursday has been going on for several months. It would cost a pretty penny.

I’ve wracked my brain as to the identity of this secret admirer. I even put a search online for “the meaning of flowers” as perhaps there is a clue in the variety of flowers that arrive. But most weeks I don’t even know the names of the flowers that are delivered. I know carnations and roses but that’s about itl. I can’t even spell some of the flower names you hear.

I was thrilled yesterday when the bunch of red carnations was delivered. I’ve never had red carnations before so I’m thinking that my secret lover might be getting more serious.

Excuse me. I’ve got to dash. Today is Friday – as I said. The florist is not open on weekends. I have to order next week’s flowers before the florist shuts. Perhaps next week I’ll get sunflowers! They are such a happy flower, and I don’t much like spending Christmas alone.

2193. I’m pleased to be a bee

Let me tell you; I just love being a bee. Some say that the Queen Bee is a slave-driver, but I can say without a skerrick of doubt – I’m no slave. My job is to go around collecting pollen. I love it, love it. It gives me a buzz.

And it’s so interesting. My area of expertise is a nearby flower garden. There’s such variety. One day it’s a poppy and the next day it’s an agapanthus. I like to mix up the pollen from all sorts. Of course, I get criticized for it: “This is primarily a tea-tree hive,” the other bees claim. “We are here to make tea-tree honey. It’s one of the more expensive varieties in shops” But I don’t care. A little bit of variety never hurt anyone.

Just the other day the Queen Bee commended me for my dedication to duty. I said, “It’s nothing Your Majesty. I am here to serve and it’s an honour to work for you.”

The other bees called me a “greaser”; I was greasing up the Queen because I wanted a promotion. How silly! There’s really no higher for a female worker bee to go. I’m content with my lot. How awful to be a drone. Those males sit around doing nothing but wait for an opportunity to do their business.

The other day, Alexandra was attacked by a human smashing around a rolled up newspaper. She had no option but to sting. But that’s the irony of being a bee; one stings to save ones life and having stung, one dies. Alexander passed away quite fast after her dramatic ordeal. The stinging was so sudden and so sad.

 Look, I haven’t got all day to talk. I have to get off to my garden. There’s a lady there now picking flowers. They’re laden with pollen. I’ll just take a quick dip in a flower before she takes the flowers off somewhere…

I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t help it. It was in self-defence.

2189. Garden weeding, garden wedding

It was to be an early Autumn wedding. The timing was so that Olga could prepare her substantial grounds and garden for the occasion. In fact, Olga had spent the entire Spring and Summer preparing for the occasion. The colours of the garden blooms would match the bridesmaid’s dresses. The pagoda was painted a garden green. The bridge over the huge frog pond was fixed. The work had been tireless. The wedding guests were invited to dress casual. Perhaps a straw hat might do the trick.

Of course, Olga could afford the time to prepare. She had retired early, if forty-seven could be considered early. The divorce had thrust a substantial income her way. She was now a woman of means; a creature of leisure. Except her preparations in the garden could hardly be called leisure; she was there morning, noon and night in rain, hail or shine. What a perfect wedding it was going to be for daughter Naomi!

A stunning mix of red and white dahlias lined the bridal path. The only unpretty point in the arrangement was that it would be ruined by her ex-husband stomping down the garden aisle. It would be a brief but ugly sight. Hopefully the radiance of the bride reflected in the dahlias would distract from her ugly ex.

Honestly, if an alien craft accidentally landed in Olga’s wedding garden they would undoubtedly have construed Earth to be the loveliest planet in the Cosmos.

All was ready. Olga’s daughter was to stay the night. Tomorrow was the day! At last! At last!

That night saw the biggest storm in over a century.

2122. A true professional

The thing was Trevor was sick of doing murders. He’d been paid to do murders for almost ten years. The fun had gone out of it.

Being a respectable owner of a florist shop had been a great cover-up. He was forever arranging flowers for special occasions. There had been many a time when he was paid to provide flowers for the funeral service of someone he’d murdered. That was always amusing! Every wreath for a victim had a red flower in it, no matter how tiny the red flower. Sometimes red would clash with the colours of the bouquet, so it had to be insignificant. Sometimes the whole wreath was a bold red. He had photographed every bunch and kept them orderly in a scrap book. Of course no one knew they were in fact a list of who was who; a list of his murder victims.

But now he was sick of it. He wanted to retire from the florist shop, and that meant murdering as a livelihood should come to an end as well.

So that’s what he did. It’s been five years. He spends his days in his little cottage by the sea, although he did take a trip overseas once but it wasn’t much to his liking. He’s taken up knitting as a hobby, mainly fluffy little woollen toys for toddlers. They’re quite cute.

Occasionally, just for the sake of old times, he poisons an ear of one of the little knitted critters.

2040. Erica’s flower salad

Erica was always one to surprise, so it was not unusual when her latest dinner party began with a salad made entirely of flower petals.

“It’s so pretty!” declared Erin.

“You’ve certainly exceeded all expectations this time,” said Eugene.

“When one dines at one of your dinners, “said Emile, “we can always expect to be surprised.”

Every guest, though daring, was a little tentative.

“Delicious!” expounded Evelyn stuffing a gladioli petal into her mouth. One suspected she made her declaration even before her taste buds had time to assimilate the mouth’s contents.

“Oh Erica! The mayonnaise!” glowed Emile. “Perfection!”

“Quite frankly,” said Savannah pushing her plate away, “I’m not a cow. I don’t eat everything I get put in front of me, and I couldn’t possibly stomach having to eat flowers. I have evolved a little further than being a muck-raking ruminant.”

Savannah was Emile’s partner. She was the only one at the table who (coincidentally) had a name that didn’t start with the letter E. It was only because of Erica’s largesse that Savannah was invited at all. No one liked her, not even Emile. Their relationship was one of convenience – whatever that meant. No one cared to ask.

“I don’t eat crap,” scorned Savanah. “I won’t touch this pile of disguised weeds.”

It was a pity because Erica had gone to considerable trouble to lace Savannah’s salad flowers with Poison Oak.

1992. Things that quickly fade

Annette loved flowers. She always had several vases of flowers in her living room and a little retro corkless medicine bottle on the window sill of the kitchen with a sprig of rosemary and a twiglet of this and that.

When her husband died the undertaker quietly asked Annette in the cemetery if she wished to have the flowers sitting on the coffin when it was lowered or would she prefer that the flowers were placed on top of the grave once it was filled in.

“Oh God no!” exclaimed Annette, speaking slightly louder than the undertaker. “I’m taking all the flowers home!” And she did! It’s not that she didn’t love her husband. But what use are flowers dying on a grave? Flowers from the funeral arranged in her living room were a much better reminder of her sad loss and a heart-felt tribute to her husband. That way too she could appreciate in full the kindness of the people who had sent condoling flowers.

Great-aunt Matilde paid a sympathy visit, mainly because Annette always served with a mug of coffee some homemade chocolate chip cookies that used ground oatmeal, nuts, and lots and lots of extra chocolate. In fact, Annette grated into the mixture several chocolate bars more than the recipe called for.

“I think flowers at funerals are a complete waste of money,” declared great-aunt Matilde surveying the living room bouquets. “When I die I don’t want people spending money on things that quickly fade.”

As occasionally happens, great-aunt Matilde was 88. She went home and sadly passed away shortly after. Annette arranged the surviving living room flowers and took them to place on great-aunt Matilde’s filled-in flowerless grave.

Not a dime was spent on things that quickly fade.

1968. Planet of Flowers

(This is the seventh and final Science Faction story in Science Faction Weak).

Floranarcissus was known on earth as “The Planet of the Flowers”. Space travellers had landed on Floranarcissus and taken photographs. Of course no one was permitted to take seeds or cuttings as it was forbidden by interplanetary law. Introduced flora could create problems for the host planet. It was best to keep flora on the planet where it had evolved. But Floranarcissus! Oh goodness me! The flowers were unbelievable.

“Seeing them in the real is nothing like the photographs,” said Barbara Cheesebrick, one of the last astronauts to have visited Floranarcissus. “The flowers are a million times more spectacular. That is because Floranarcissus is an unspoilt planet. There are no intelligent beings to mess things up. The flowers simply evolved lovelier and lovelier over tens of thousands of years.”

There came a time when Planet Earth began preparing to celebrate the two thousandth anniversary of that systemic racist, Captain James Cook, getting stabbed to death in the neck in Hawaii. It was a special occasion. Could Planet Earth perhaps gather some particularly special flowers from Planet Floranarcissus? The cosmic committee decided it could. The committee was after all, in that particular year, chaired by an Earthling. But no plants must be taken.

A special craft visited Floranarcissus. Tens of millions of flowers were gathered, hastily shoved into vases, and speeded back to Earth. Not a flower was left. But the plants on Floranarcissus would rejuvenate. Flower plants do that. Every country on Earth, especially the country once known as Hawaii, were festooned with blooms.

By morning all flowers were dead; dead, dowdy, and frizzled up. It was so disappointing.

It was years later that Earthlings learnt the bitter truth: they had exterminated all forms of intelligent life on Floranarcissus. The planet’s extinct intelligent life had evolved as flowers.

1928. Church flowers

Barry was having an affair. The whole village knew about it. No wonder Melissa had left him. This had probably been going on for months.

No one had a clue who the woman was that he was having an affair with. Was it someone they knew? Was it someone from out of town? No one had seen her. What they had seen, and rather regularly, was a bump in the backseat covered in a blanket. Barry’s car was always firmly in his garage with the automatic door solidly shut before who-ever-it-was undoubtedly emerged from under the blanket in the back seat and entered the house.

The village was a tight knit community. They cared about each other, and not knowing the identity of Barry’s lover was driving them crazy. Anne proposed a plan.

Barry had a large garden. This was a remnant from when Melissa ran the house. “It’s my turn,” said Anne, “to do the flowers for the church this coming Sunday. I shall go and ask Barry if we can have some flowers from his garden for the church.”

It was a brilliant plan! While there Anne would poke around for clues. Perhaps the lover might be spied. Perhaps Barry might drop a hint.

Sunday morning came. The church flowers from Barry’s garden were gorgeous. Anne was to be congratulated. But did she find out anything of interest?

“Not a thing!” declared Anne. “Not a whiff of a hint.”

Everyone pretended not to be disappointed.

Anne breathed a sigh of relief. Her secret was still safe.