It is hard to know how best to comfort someone.
We are often at a loss for words when someone has suffered a loss, but fresh flowers are able to say so much when we cannot and therefore are often sent as comfort during the first few weeks. While these fresh wounds will heal with time, certain anniversaries can tug at the scab of loss as they pass each year. Comfort someone who is going through a calendar of grief with a note or phone call to remind them that they are in your thoughts, and never underestimate the healing power of flowers. A package of forget-me-not seeds fits easily inside an envelop and can be mailed across distances to honor someone’s memory or offer comfort on a sad anniversary.
The name says it all.
The blue-flowered, delicately blooming forget-me-not has the distinction of symbolizing both remembrance and love in the Victorian language of flowers, where it has long been planted or presented as a plant of comfort and companionship in the presence of loss. While sprigs or stems of the forget-me-not may be relatively hard to find throughout the year, and potted plants of it might only be available in the spring with blooms are at their best, the seeds of the forget-me-not plant are surprisingly easy to grow and are a great way to send love and food memories of friends and loved ones through the mail.
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Forget-me-nots are surrounded by myths and stories. The name is said to have come from the diminutive nature of the dainty plant. Small and unassuming, it was said to have almost been forgotten when all the other plants were being named. Symbolically, it has been found in the courts of exiled kings and German poets, but its pleasures are best enjoyed in a garden that gets a fair amount of shade.
Growing forget-me-nots in a pot is simple. Sow seeds in a container with a potting mix high in organic material and keep moist. They love shadier areas and soil that never dries out completely. Since most are perennial, they are a great addition to a memorial garden, where they will come back each spring and bloom with beautiful blue flowers. Many cultivars have a sunny, yellow center, giving them both a calm and cheering effect. Trim back blooms once they are finished to encourage new flowers throughout the summer. Small and unassuming, forget-me-nots make a great groundcover and will spread slowly each year to fill out an area.
While flowers can never fill in a loss, they can certainly be a great way to honor the memory of someone you’ve lost while comforting a friend who may need help each year with their memories. Consider adding some to a stamped envelop for a message of love and remembrance.