Here's how Herbert Wells' Strange Orchid Story begins:
“Buying orchids is always fraught with some risk. Here is a shriveled brown root - in everything else, rely on your own judgment, or on the seller, or on luck, as you wish. Maybe this plant is doomed to death or has already perished, maybe you made a pretty solid purchase worth the money spent, or maybe it happened more than once - before your admiring gaze slowly, day after day, something unprecedented will unfold: a new wealth of form , special bending of the petals, finer coloration, unusual mimicry. Pride, beauty and income bloom together on a delicate green stem, and who knows, perhaps glory. For a new miracle of nature requires a new name, and is it not natural to christen a flower by the name of one who discovered it? "Jonsmithia"! Well, there are worse names.
Perhaps the hopes for such a discovery made Winter Waderburn a regular in flower sales - hopes and, probably, the fact that he did not have any other interesting activities in his life. He was a timid, lonely, rather worthless person with means sufficient for a comfortable life, and a lack of spiritual energy that would make him look for activities more specific. He could equally well collect stamps or coins, translate Horace, bind books or discover new types of diatoms (diatom - silica). But it turned out that he began to grow orchids, and all his ambitious thoughts were concentrated on a small garden greenhouse. "
The statement of the author of this story about the worthlessness of his hero (as a collector of exotic flowers, first of all) and the lack of any interesting activities in his life for others seemed terribly unfair and too presumptuous.
Then even the poet, writer, thinker and philosopher I. Goethe, with the light hand of Herbert Wells, let us classify among the worthless people "with a lack of spiritual energy." And he, by the way, was also a serious natural scientist, published a number of works on comparative morphology of plants and animals, in physics (optics and acoustics), mineralogy, geology and meteorology.
And Goethe is known as a big lover of violets. According to legend, his every step was marked with violets. He did not leave home without putting violet seeds in his coat pocket. Walked and sowed them on the paths. In the vicinity of Weimar, where he lived, the paths of violets turned into solid floral carpets. German gardeners bred several new varieties of violets, calling them the names of the characters of the famous works of the writer: the black variety was named "Doctor Faust", bright red - "Mephistopheles", pale blue - "Margarita".
He passionately loved and sang the violets of A. Blok. I. Turgenev loved to present violets to his friends and was very grateful when they answered him the same.
It is also known that narcissus was I. Turgenev's favorite flower, proof of which we find in the album that remained after his death, where he used to, for fun, to record everything that he especially liked. He made such notes repeatedly, and in one of them for 1867 to the question: “Which of the flowers does he like most?” - answered: “Narcissus”.
“When you will be in Spassky,” wrote I. Turgenev in 1882 to his friends Polonsky from the French Bougival, realizing that he was mortally ill, “bow to me from my house, garden, my young oak, my homeland, bow, which I probably will never I will see. " And he asked to send a "lilac flower." Polonsky fulfilled this request.
Flowers occupy a special place in the work of poets and writers around the world since ancient times. Flowers inspired artists, poets, architects, composers to create great works.
It is known that lilac inspired Tchaikovsky to create a rare beauty ballet tale "Sleeping Beauty." The beautiful “Waltz of the Flowers” from Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker” and the waltz “Orchid” by V. Andreev became popular. Many contemporary composers also turn to flowers in their work.
Often, a flower can tell a person more than an eloquent message: to express respect and love. In Austria in 1973 an opera house was built. For the first performance, the troupe chose Sergei Prokofiev’s opera War and Peace. The room was full. And only one chair in the front row was unoccupied: on it lay ... a white rose. An unknown fan of Prokofiev’s music, who didn’t manage to fly to the show, sent an unusual request from America by telegraph: to put a rose in his place as a sign of respect for the great composer ...
Other famous writers are not far behind flower worship. One of them, a little forgotten at present, is V. Kataev. How not to recall his childishly naive magical story "Flower-Semitsvetik"? A good and mischievous tale, which brought up for many generations a sense of compassion and mercy.
In the tale of S. Marshak “12 months”, the evil stepmother sent her stepdaughter in the midst of the fierce January frosts into the dense forest for spring flowers. The girl accidentally met her brothers-months at the forest fire, among whom was a good fellow Mart. He gave the orphan his favorite flowers - snowdrops.
And who does not remember the Russian folk tale "The Scarlet Flower", told in childhood by the housekeeper Pelageya Sergei Aksakov and recorded by him in 1885? How many magical minutes have been lived by each of us with this tale. In the feelings of an honest, kind and true to her word, the youngest daughter, and the condemnation of the greedy and mercenary daughters of the elders, a kind, but such a short-sighted merchant. And with what childish naivety we rejoiced in a happy, magical and unexpected denouement ...
In conclusion, we give a small excerpt from the tale of A. de Saint-Exupery "The Little Prince":
“On the planet of the Little Prince, simple, modest flowers always grew - they had few petals, they took up very little space and did not bother anyone. They opened in the morning in the grass and faded in the evening. And this one sprouted once from a grain brought in from nowhere, and the Little Prince did not take his eyes off a tiny sprout, unlike all the other sprouts and blades. Suddenly, is this some kind of new baobab? But the bush quickly stopped reaching up, and a bud appeared on it. The little prince had never seen such huge buds and foresaw that he would see a miracle. And the unknown guest, still hidden in the walls of her green room, everything was preparing, everything was preening. She carefully selected the colors. She dressed up slowly, trying on the petals one by one. She did not want to be shaken up, like some kind of poppy. She wanted to appear in all the splendor of her beauty. Yes, it was a terrible coquette! Mysterious preparations lasted day after day.
And finally, one morning, as soon as the sun rose, the petals opened. And the beautiful woman, who put so much work in preparation for this minute, said, yawning: “Ah, I woke up by force ... I'm sorry ... I'm still quite disheveled ...
The little prince could not help delight: - How beautiful you are!
- Yes its true? - was a quiet answer. “And mind you, I was born with the sun.”
The little prince, of course, guessed that the amazing guest did not suffer from an excess of modesty, but she was so beautiful that she was breathtaking!
And she soon noticed: - It seems it's time to have breakfast. Be so kind, take care of me ...
The little prince was very embarrassed, spotted a watering can and poured spring flower with a flower. It soon turned out that the beauty was proud and touchy, and the Little Prince was completely exhausted with her. She had four spikes, and one day she said to him: “Let the tigers come, I'm not afraid of their claws!”
“There are no tigers on my planet,” said the Little Prince. - And then, tigers do not eat grass.
“I am not grass,” the flower remarked offendedly.
- Forgive me…
“No, tigers are not afraid of me, but I'm terribly afraid of drafts.” You do not have a screen?
“A plant, and it’s afraid of drafts ... it’s very strange ...” thought the Little Prince. “What a difficult character this flower has.”
- When evening comes, cover me with a cap. It's too cold here. Very uncomfortable planet. Where I came from ...
She didn’t finish. After all, she was brought here when she was still a grain. She could not know anything about other worlds. It’s stupid to lie when it’s so easy to convict you! The beauty was embarrassed, then coughed once or twice so that the Little Prince could feel how guilty he was before her. - Where is the screen? “I wanted to follow her, but I couldn’t stop listening to you.”
Then she coughed harder: let him still torment conscience!
Although the Little Prince fell in love with a beautiful flower and was glad to serve him, but soon doubts aroused in his soul. He took empty words to heart and began to feel very unhappy.
“I listened in vain,” he once told me gullibly. “You should never listen to what the flowers say.” You just need to look at them and breathe their aroma. My flower watered my whole planet with fragrance, but I did not know how to enjoy it. These talk of claws and tigers ... They should have moved me, and I got angry ...
And he admitted: “I didn’t understand anything then!” It was necessary to judge not by words, but by deeds. She gave me her fragrance, lit up my life. I shouldn't have run away. For these miserable tricks and tricks I had to guess the tenderness. Flowers are so inconsistent! But I was too young, I still did not know how to love. "