Birth flower for July :: Waterlily + Delphinium...
If you were born in July, you can choose between the loftily tall and mysterious delphinium, or the enchanting waterlily, because both of them are the traditional Birth Flowers for this month.
And while they have different meanings in the Language of Flowers, they share a common theme of hearts, which is rather lovely. The delphinium represents big-heartedness, joy and fun; while the waterlily symbolises purity of heart and daily regeneration.
Delphiniums are also known by their common name of Larkspur. They are a perennial, mostly living for around 3 years, and form tall spikes of flowers, usually blue, in summer.
Native to the Northern Hemisphere, they are named after their spur-like flowers, which look a little like a dolphin...thus "delphinium", the latin word for the beautiful sea mammal.
Interestingly though, as the plant is quite poisonous, it was therefore associated with witches during the Middle Ages.
They are useful in cottage style gardens, where the tall spikes of blue flowers can create a striking presence at the back of a garden border, but only in gardens where little children are not likely to linger. They do come in other colours...such as pinks and whites...but the blue ones are, I think, the most striking. I have never planted them in any of my own gardens, as I don't fancy their poisonous qualities! The entire plant, from stem to flower tip, is toxic to humans, causing skin irritation and digestive upsets.
The other birth flower for July, the waterlily, is a plant which is not only beautiful in gardens, but which has captured the hearts of many artists over the years.
In fact, if I say "waterlily", does Monet immediately spring to mind?
His extraordinary paintings depicted both the common French white waterlily, as well as exotic varieties from South America and Egypt which he planted in his garden.
The waterlily also intrigued many artists from the Art Nouveau movement, and its graceful willowed stems and voluptuous flowers were often depicted in paintings, leadlight windows, glass lamps, brooches and serving dishes.
If you have even a small bowl of water, the waterlily is easy to grow, as long as they can get at least 6 hours of sunshine a day.
They like deep water, so the most suitable containers are tall, but do not need to be very wide, as there are plenty of gorgeous miniature waterlily varieties.
These waterlilies are from my own garden, where they grow in ceramic pots about one metre in diameter. (I brought them and their pots with us to our new house, ... hopefully they will flower just as happily this summer.)
So if you are looking for a birthday present for somebody born this month, perhaps a bowl filled with waterlilies, or a pot of delphiniums would be just the ticket.
Because as well as being a lovely gift, the message would be all about hearts, which is rather perfect for a heart-felt gift, don't you think?