Chickens and Eggs

Oh, the joy that comes from an egg!

I shall never forget the inquisitive, widening gleam in the eyes of the little boy standing in the postal line as I signed to receive my package. Admittedly, I, too, was giddy with anticipation upon hearing the little high-pitched chirps and squeaks emanating from within. Gathering the box, perforated with dime-sized holes, from the counter, I smiled at this youngster in passing, assuredly perpetuating his child-like curiosity. I could hardly wait to get home. After all, I had waited for almost two months for the parcel to arrive from Iowa.

Opening the box, I peered within to look upon both an adorable and heartening sight. They had made it—every single one of our seventeen baby chicks had arrived alive.

Like instant mother hens, my wife and daughter set about making sure our new arrivals had every necessity. While Robyn prepared a high-energy cocktail of water and vitamins, or “pep” as they call it, for the babies, Brontë and I carefully inspected each one. It was immediately obvious that each was a unique breed, no two alike, with individual personalities and characteristics to match. The guessing instantly began of which was which? Some looked like miniature partridges with chipmunk stripes upon their backs. Some were yellow and fuzzy, like quintessential Cadbury thespians. I knew there was a rooster want-to-be among the lot, but had no idea which one. Only time would tell.

Visitors began to arrive, cooing over the lovable nature of each chick and speedily staking claim to his or her rightful ownership. “That one’s got to be mine,” or “Look, she likes me,” was the rhetoric—a continual merry-go-round of guesswork. Turns out, most were unquestionably wrong with few exceptions, including me.

Fortunately, the chicks are now old enough to make daily jaunts to the farmyard. The inquisitive older hens are learning with reluctance to become acclimated to the diurnal squatters infringing upon their pecking grounds.

Hopefully soon, the two groups will assuredly learn to become one, part and parcel to the whole, allowing our joy of eggs to multiply seventeen, no, sixteen- fold. For one, had better be a rooster!

The Love Language of Flowers

My husband is a romantic in every sense of the term, often bringing me bouquets of flowers or container orchids for no reason and for every reason…just because.

With the birth of each of my children, I could plan on a bouquet of two dozen roses intermingled with lilies delivered to my recovering room. When they arrived, I knew without doubt the expression of his love, unwritten, which the flowers sang to me.

Nothing brings joy into a home, into a heart, and into hope like fresh flowers.

Yes, to the skeptics, perhaps they are expensive, perhaps they will wilt and perish within a few days. However, every child has found the simple flower from dandelion to rose while they walk the gardens and fields of life, grabbing it with the purest intent to give it to those who are most cherished in their lives. My answer is that fresh-cut in a vase or potted with a bow, single stem or a floribunda bouquet, flowers must be given from the soul with the purpose of adorning a relationship with admiration and feeling. In that moment when the recipient embraces the gift, there are no words to describe the interaction with joy in this unique expression of friendship and true love.

It is a language that only flowers can speak and hearts can understand.


Victorian Floriography

The Victorians embraced the meaning of flowers in a way similar to the Classic Greek mythology and Renaissance symbolism of their time periods. For the Victorian man or woman under the restrictions of social propriety, flowers became a means of expressing the emotions and words that could not be shared aloud. Since a single red rose might state the message of love from the giver, the receiver would know the message and accept the sentiment of the rose with the right hand or reject the message by taking the rose with the left. Furthermore, if a courier delivered flowers that expressed a sentiment, then the receiver would respond in kind and deliver flowers that best answered the request.Peace_Roses

In fact, Victorian floriography, or the language of flowers, blossomed during the 19th century throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States of America. Many of the grand gardens and conservatories we cherish today commenced due to this passion toward exotic, rare, and flourishing flora and fauna. Women wore flowers on their dresses, in their hats, and carried about tussie-mussie bouquets as part of their fashion “statement.” From this secret conversation movement, many books emerged. One illustrated by Kate Greenway in 1884 is still printed to date.

Although the modern world has forsaken the fastidiousness of Victorian tradition, the concept of giving flowers to express one’s admiration, gratitude, and passion continues. Furthermore, as Valentine’s Day arrives, one might consider three of the most universal flowers which symbolize love in its various phases:

The Love Language of Violets
The Love Language of Tulips
The Love Language of Roses

Listen to the Flowers

Seek the flowers of your soul.
Walk the paths of a garden, enter a floral shop, or find a flower peddler on the street.
Discover which flowers call to your senses.
Buy the flowers, pick the flowers, breathe in the flowers…

English-RosesWitness the alteration to someone’s heart, mind, and spirit as this simple God-given beauty enlivens something endearing, something memorable, something joyous and hopeful inside.

I encourage you to cultivate the language of flowers into your life, another aspect of creating a beautiful life.

Robyn J. Mock

Violets, February’s Flower

Violets are known as the modesty flower, referring to the tiny blossoms nestled shyly among the rich green leaves. Historically, the flower depicted the humble Mary receiving word of her divine calling to be the mother of Jesus. Her love enshrouds her beauty just as the heart-shaped leaves enshroud the beautiful blooms. Often violets are the silent flower, peeking from the shade garden where they grow just as Mary was in the shadows of the cross at the crucifixion of her son.

In the ancient world, violets became the emblem of Athens, labeled the “Violet-Crowned City”. Therefore, the Athenians decorated everything from festivities to feasts to funerals, wearing crowns on their heads and scattering the blossoms around themselves. Like the Greeks, Persians found the innocent nature of the flower to be a healer, especially of a broken heart. Even today, the simple wild violets in the garden or the African violets at the store offer a sense of healing with their quiet, long-lasting blooms.

Thus, violets symbolize pure love without guile, a constancy and commitment to loving relationships. As a sign of honor to the couple achieving 50 years of marriage, violets are often sent with admiration and respect attached.

The deep blue and purple violets tell of the promise to be true and faithful.
Yellow violets state that one has goodness and worth.
White violets seek happiness through loyalty and purity.

Truly, February’s flower is one befitting anyone’s Valentine.

Seek to cultivate the beautiful life.
Robyn J. Mock

The Perfect Love of Tulips

“A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone.
It doesn’t struggle to be different than a rose.
It doesn’t have to.
It is different.
And there’s room in the garden for every flower.”
– Marianne Williamson

Tulips symbolize perfect love.
Their little cupped petals form the universally-known, simple yet beloved flower for every occasion and situation.

Red tulips signify perfectly true love and passion which endures.
Pink tulips depict affection toward family or close friends.
Yellow tulips offer love despite the sentiments in the heart of the receiver. Furthermore, they call for cheerfulness and charity.
White and purple tulips bear regality as well as representing prosperous abundance.
Striking, variegated, or patterned tulips (often known as “Rembrandt Tulips”) bespeak a loved one’s beauty, especially the eyes.

The Victorians hailed this unassuming flower as a flower of kindness and love. All colors and varieties give a sense of forgiveness and charity.

With gratitude to the Turks who had commenced and the Dutch who have maintained the art of cultivating the finest tulip bulbs in the world, these once-wild bulb flowers have blossomed to a status of reigning in nearly every springtime garden. May we be ever blessed with this endearing flower in our lives.

Always cultivate the beautiful life.
Robyn J. Mock

Frame Your Love with Roses

The rose is queen among the flowers, serving as the ultimate expression of love in all forms. From the Greek myths to the Ptolemaic legends of Cleopatra to the infamous “War of the Roses”, the rose has served as a symbol of romantic love to unrequited love. With more than a hundred and fifty species of roses available in our day, the possibilities are endless and would have boggled the minds of those cultivating roses in the Chinese dynasties as early as 1,000 B.C.

In fact, in the language of flowers, roses have their own vernacular for every color, variety, and quantity…

Fringed-Rose-BouquetRed Roses show one’s deepest emotions of respect, desire, and passion toward his or her beloved.
Orange roses ignite the energy of passion and attraction, almost as powerfully as the red roses.
Peach or coral roses express felicitations and appreciation to friends and family for every reason.
Yellow roses bring joy, acceptance, and energy to friendships.
White roses signify innocence and purity. Denoting a new beginning with love, they often adorn the bouquets of new brides.
Furthermore, white roses show a humility from the giver that he or she expresses penitence or sympathy or a desire to start anew.
It announces “I am worthy of love’s pure gift.”
Pink roses offer sweet gentility, grace, and gratitude.
The richer and deeper the shade of pink, the more it shows the gratitude toward those who have made a difference in one’s life.
Lavender roses enthrall the receiver with a message of love at first sight, of being secretly admired.
True purple roses denote splendor and regal elegance, a recognition of another’s divine nature.
Dark roses such as blue, black, or maroon, sadly allude to the elusive emotions of love, of pining for something or someone unattainable.
Green roses offer peace and harmony to those recovering or recommencing in life after change or adversity.
Two-tone roses interestingly combine the sentiments of both colors involved.
A white rose with fringes and brushes of red or pink express unity in love.
Mixed bouquets of roses display a mixture of emotions, incorporating all the feelings attached to individual colors.
Overall, any rose of any color, type or quantity sends an universal message:
“Someone loved me enough to give me roses.”

Tea Roses signify remembrance of loved ones.
Wild roses are simplicity.
Cabbage or English Roses are the envoys of love.
China Roses bring newness to the love.
Full-petaled Roses express dignity and generosity.


Yellow_RosebudA single red rose says “I love you!”
A single white rose assures “The feelings of my heart are pure.”
A single pink rose proclaims “I like everything about you.”
A single orange rose boasts “I am proud of you and your accomplishments.”
A single yellow rose beams “You bring the greatest joy into my life. I love your friendship.”
A single peach rose graciously states “Thank you for your kindness.”
Or, it may also tenderly express “I sympathize with your heartache.”
A single lavender rose whispers “You are enchanting to me.”
A single blue or nearly black rose laments “I love you with all my heart, but I know realize that I can never attain that dream.”

Those deserving accolades for their virtue may wear a couronne of roses.
Three long-stem, red roses encourages loves to be together in love’s embrace.
A dozen red roses, the most popular quantity to give, invites “I love you. Be my Valentine.”
Fifty red roses overwhelmingly express “I love you eternally.”
And, from the abundant bouquet of roses in full bloom, intermingled with other flowers and fauna, a message of gratitude and appreciation prevails.

Like the roses of the ancient world, the teardrop bud unfurls into a circular bloom, full-petaled and fragrant, with impeccable balance and symmetry. Love is a rose which emerges and unfurls, laying back its graceful petals, and captivating the heart and soul with its sweet perfume. Love is the beauty, joy, and grace of the rose.

Frame your love with the gift of roses.
Cultivate the beautiful life.

Robyn J. Mock

Investment Planting

Planting is always an investment. And, each fall we have the opportunity to make an active ante. Fortunately, it is an investment with promising dividends and encouraging disbursements of eminent beauty.


For me, the process of planting, feeling the soil, and admiring the beauty, shapes, and textures of the bulbs themselves are a pleasure at planting and can be an equally rewarding experience of springtime gladness now.

daffodil-bulb-in-dirt-on-logEach bulb is a work of art, a joy of dormant creation and creating. It is a great source of satisfaction to join in and contribute to planting and unleashing each bulb’s full beauty and nourishing its latent growth.

nested-bulbs-with-red-leaf-backgroundThere are numerous varieties of bulbs that will bring varying heights, textures, and colors to your garden. Yet, many bulbs and their corresponding varieties, which bloom in the spring, cannot be planted within that season. They require planning and planting now. And if you plant them now, in the spring they will unquestionably come.

Among the most popular bulbs that need to be established in the fall with rewards in the spring are the beloved Dutch iris, tulips, hyacinths, lilies, crocus, and daffodils. Yet, other bulbs—possibly less common, but equally rewarding—might include fritillaria, crown imperials, squills, anemones, snowdrops, allium, and freesia.

little-white-bulbs-on-woodPlease note: Expert planting guides, available through cultivars and garden centers, can help determine which bulbs grow best in your individual area, including directions regarding preparation of soil, soil amendments, and planting depths for success. Determining location conditions of planting in your garden is also essential. Settings of full sun, dappled light, and shade must be considered, seeking bulbs that thrive under their related conditions.

three-hyacinthsIn this season of fall, I invite you to invest in a bright and beautiful future by experiencing the joy of planting bulbs. The beauty of your springtime, now and in the future, depends upon it.

bulb-atop-logNow is the time to invest in your garden’s successful future.

So, go expend your energies stirring up some constructive dirt, capitalize on planting attractive bulbs, and assuredly cultivate the beautiful life. we-signature-png

See Fall with Easter Eyes


“Autumn is a second Spring, when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus


Do we see the season of fall with Easter eyes?

And nowhere is this viewpoint more evident than in the embedding of bulbs. For bulbs, like the colorful eggs we celebrate in springtime, hold the makings of life. When cultivated, they will assuredly grow and with pronouncement, vividly bloom.

Bulbs invite us to take time to recurrently participate and partake of the equally rewarding process of planning and planting our future.

They are a symbol of pronounced hope.

Plant bulbs.