DaphneRosa in bloom…

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So another week has passed – honestly where do they go?! – so here’s DaphneRosa in bloom update no. 4. With 1 week left of January this is my penultimate post for the month & then it will be time to move onto another bloom already!

Making new flowers from new materials & honing my craft was always the primary reason for beginning my year long project, but I also wanted to learn about the language of flowers, the history behind them & any interesting facts & the Azalea certainly has it’s fair share!

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When grown outside Azaleas are flowering shrubs but can also be kept as house plants. They are from the Rhodendron family & are not only beautiful but also highly toxic. The plant contains toxins in its leaves and nectar & in the past if you were given a bouquet of them in a black vase it was taken to be a death threat!

The Azalea does have other, more positive connotations too. In Chinese culture it is known as “thinking of home bush” (sixiang shu) so is often given to represent thinking of family or missing home. In Motoyama, Kochi the Japanese hold an annual festival to celebrate the blooming of the Azalea, another place to add to the travel list!

Photo credit: Flickr user Guilhem Vellut

Many cities in the United States also celebrate the Azalea flower including Texas, South Carolina, Florida, Oklahoma & Missouri. It’s Mobile, Alabama however that seems to have a real passion for the bloom with their Azalea Trail – private gardens all displaying the flower – The Azalea Trail Run & their Azalea Trail Maids, 50 women chosen to serve as ambassadors for the city.

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Photo credit: Flickr user Elvert Barnes

Not only do they get to wear these fetching outfits the ladies make appearances at many local, state & national events including the inauguration of United States President Barack Obama.

The Victorian language of flowers linked the Azlalea to temperence, giving the flower to someone to ask them to reconsider their feelings or discourage them from a public display of affection. It is also connected to fragility or delicate femininity due to the flowers beign easily knocked off the plant. Now I definitley don’t have green fingers so I’m pleased to know it’s not just my plant that drops its flowers so easily! Those that have dropped I decided to press & keep in my sketchbook and I’m aiming to do this with each flower throughout the year.

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I’m in full Azalea making mode now for this last week of the month – playing with the combination of paper & fabric from last week – but heres a sneak peek of what I’ll be showing you next week…

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Have a great week everyone!

Kate

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