How dying flowers teach us how to live

As I clean up the pile of decaying and rather stinky flowers from the weekend wedding job and also from the mantels and benches of my own house, a pang of sadness hits me (it doesn’t help that Julia Stone is singing a very melancholy song in the background).

dying pink roses

It’s such a shame that beauty is so short lived.

I have turfed the once spectacular dahlias which haven’t aged well, the decaying (yet still divine) David Austins, the completely exhausted lithianthus, the droopy browning Veronicas and the crunchy curling foliage.

It’s a little cruel that just days after looking their absolute best, flowers will die, flop, brown off and will smell absolutely putrid!


I’ve never been completely ok with this. So much work goes into the cultivation, the growing, the picking, carefully storage and management, the styling, and then….. often after a wedding or event, they are left and tossed away.

I can only imagine how bitter sweet it must be for the passionate grower who has sown the seeds, nurtured the seedlings, spent hours upon hours weeding and feeding and anxiously managed through frosts, winds and bugs. Then there’s the long and nervous wait through winter to finally see if all that hard work is going to pay off.


Perhaps though therein lies the magic of fresh, yet ‘about to die’ flowers.  For if it was just their beauty, we would be queuing for the artificial variety.

Maybe on some deep level we feel the life energy of fresh flowers and the journey they’ve been on; their time in the ground, out in the weather, under the close watch of the grower.

Pic courtesy of Crofters Fold Estate

Then pretty soon after reaching their most beautiful form, they die, completing a beautiful cycle of life and death.

Perhaps on a deep level we are kinda in tune with that?

As one grower said recently, “It’s their transience that makes them so beautiful”.

I guess it’s like all things of natural beauty; butterflies, sunsets and rainbows.

They teach us to be present and just enjoy.

Yet another profound message from the flowers.

Would love your thoughts on this?


One Comment Add yours

  1. Maryann says:

    Thanks for this thoughtful piece. I’m often guilty of keeping flowers too long because I loved them so much when young and fresh. I hang some to dry and collect rose petals… savouring the dying as well as the living. Is it too trite to say ‘better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all’?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s