I love flowers. In my book, I describe how they can help heal the mind and propose several techniques which are easy, enjoyable and surprisingly effective over time. The flower therapy works best with regular meditation.
Flowers are therapeutic as they are beautiful and soothing. Just looking at them is uplifting and a kind of meditation in itself. One naturally breathes in deeply and healthily on seeing their simplicity and splendour, instead of in short and sharp breaths which are not calming.
I feature the hibiscus. Why? Because besides producing beautiful flowers, each exquisite in form and colour, the plant is so easy to grow, thriving in the hot sun and rain, independently existing whether in the ground or in a pot. It is definitely a wonderful plant for an absent gardener living in a sultry climate, who travels quite frequently.
My friends, even those living locally, are usually surprised by the large varieties of hibiscus available, as they are only familiar with the red five-petalled Hibiscus rosa-sinensis – the national flower of Malaysia, in Malay called “Bunga Raya”.
The yellow hibiscus with a visiting butterfly, Hibiscus tiliaceus, slowly changes from yellow in the morning to orange at noon and maroon before sundown. I confess I do not know the technical names of the many hibiscus plants I have. I give them pet names and I call this one “Chamecus” because it changes colour like a chameleon.
I have planted around three dozen types of hibiscus blooms to date, each as unique as we all are. Some are single-layered, some multi-layered, several have five pistils instead of the usual one. Interestingly, each variety has leaves which are different in shape from that of another hibiscus plant.
I enjoy other flowers too, the rose being an especial favourite. Roses and carnations remind me of my grandmother who loved to garden. Wild flowers are definitely beautiful as well. In fact, all flowers have their own charm – as we all do.
Whenever I chance upon a flower, I remember what Jesus said, “Why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don’t toil, neither do they spin, yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed like one of these.” (Matthew 6:28-29) Flowers remind us that we are well looked after by our Creator.
I hope you enjoy my pictures of the hibiscus and other flowers.