April 17, 2014

WILLIAMS: Feelings of the flowers


---- — I took one of those fun tests on Facebook to see what kind of flower I am and lo and behold, it said I was an orchid!

That is so wrong because I have always thought I was the exact opposite of an orchid. I’d characterize myself as a daisy. You know, one of those homely little blossoms that no one would ever exclaim over. Not a high-bred showy daisy, like a gerbera, just a garden-variety, everyday daisy.

Daisies are low maintenance. You don’t have to give them special food or maintain their humidity at exactly the right level. They slog along and bloom in almost any conditions. They blossom in yards but also along roadsides, thriving in neglect.

Daisies have long seasons, almost the whole summer. While other, more delicate flowers, like crocus and daffodils, bloom only in the perfection of early spring and then wave goodbye, daisies just plug along in the dusty heat of the summer and fall. Daisies are hardy and reliable.

If you can make an orchid flourish, people will envy you. It’s rather like having a beautiful woman by your side. But by gosh, you’d better give her the constant tender, loving care she expects or she’ll leave you in a heartbeat. Meanwhile, your daisy will stick with you through the tough times.

Actually, if I could choose, I’d be a rose, which is rather in the middle between an orchid and a daisy. Roses are lovely like orchids but not so fragile. She does require a little more care than a daisy but if you give a rose a good grounding when you first plant her and follow up with the food and water and bug spray she needs, she will reward you with a fountain of pink or red or yellow, year after year. And furthermore, not only is she a treat to the eyes but her fragrance is a delight to the nose. On the other hand, she has thorns to go along with her flowers so if you cross her, she can hurt you, whereas, I have never known a daisy to draw blood.

And you know, I suppose we should give the orchid a bit of a pass because she’s like a stranger in a strange land. She thrives in her natural environment, the rain forest, so she’s no different than people. Pluck them up and set them down in a place that is totally alien and most will lose some of their life force. Perhaps a Daisy would do the same if we planted her in the Amazon. I know someone who took the same test I did and was judged to be a lilly, which made me think the test is either not very accurate or very honest. They probably want everyone to be happy with their designation, even if it’s not particularly true because believe me, this person is more like a prickly pear than a lilly. She is impatient and opinionated and she can bite if you get too close.

I have another friend I’d characterize as a Yucca. She is very determined and assertive. She’ll invade your space and run you over if you don’t push back.

I know it is nonsense to attribute human qualities to plants – and vice versa – but it is fun to think about. So, what kind of flower are you?

Vicki Williams is a columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached through the newspaper at