Chrysanthemums turn my mood to yellow


Chrysanthemums, pure white,
Are like moonbeams caught within
The frosted dew at night.

I eschewed red roses more than a decade ago.  Overpriced, scentless and resembling no roses I’ve seen in nature, Valentine roses might be red, but they look uptight, and always seem to droop sadly after a day or two no matter how lovingly they’ve been cared for.  Order-your-red-roses-for-Valentine’s-Day store promotions strike me as a stale symbol of the mundane last minute effort of harried husbands and beleaguered boyfriends yielding to the obvious. Some men are ahead of the game and place that 1-800 order for home delivery, others rush into the grocery store on the corner before heading home.  The Daughter and I sat in the car on Friday observing with amusement the stream of boyfriends and husbands zooming into a parking space, hurrying into the store, and zipping back out with red rose trios in cheap white vases and plastic wrap. A few anxiously clutched heart-shaped balloons and/or teddy bears, and it’s possible that bags hid purchases of champagne or chocolate. But, in mid-winter, when all the leaves are gone and the skies are gray, cut flowers have an irresistible allure, especially on Valentines Day.

Mr. Garner, aware of my distaste for overdone roses, wisely turns to the local wholesale florist to seek an alternative, where buckets and buckets of fresh flowers offer lots of options.  In past years he’s brought home big bunches of fragrant Stargazer lily stalks wrapped in newspaper for me to arrange. Last year, he brought The Daughter and me each a Cyclamen plant with lovely spiral-shaped buds and ballet-dancer-blossoms hovering on slender stalks above heart- shaped leaves.  They were a big hit with the Garner Girls, and are blooming even now on my kitchen table.

Turn my mood to yellow...
Turn my mood to yellow…

This year, he opted to get me what I occasionally buy for myself this dreary time of year, bunches of white and yellow chrysanthemums. No, not your typical Valentine choice, but Mr. Garner knows that I love these flowers! There isn’t anything quite like chrysanthemums for adding a burst of light and sunshine to rooms that feel oddly bare after putting away holiday decor. Reminiscent of my favorite fire works, the florets radiate energy and their lovely scent sneaks green notes of spring into the room.

The Daughter received carnations with purple (her favorite) edges! We both enjoy arranging flowers in water, and we had a lot to work with, including a big bunch of fern, enabling us to brighten up more than one room.  We will be enjoying these flowers for a few weeks thanks to the longevity of chrysanthemums and carnations and our Valentine, Mr. Garner.


This has nothing to do with Valentine flowers, but Chrysanthemum also brings to mind a favorite book by Kevin Hankes about a little mouse named Chrysanthemum, who, after enduring teasing from the rude and poorly socialized school mice, is reassured that her name is absolutely perfect; and precious, and priceless, and fascinating and winsome!

Still like red roses for Valentines? This Forbes article documents the trip your Valentine flowers took from farm to vase.

If Chrysanthemums make you smile and turn your mood to yellow, you’ll like this song by Amber Rubarth…

I found a little pot took it in the kitchen
And filled it with some dirt
Planted a chrysanthemum
And you should’ve seen how it turned my mood to yellow
It turned my mood to yellow in a day

I read about a boy who suffered depression
His parents hung a mirror
Inside his bedroom
And they made him smile At it three times a day
‘Til it took His depression away

And it goes to show
That there’s a natural way of healing
What we’re feeling inside
It goes to show that before we prescribe
We should first try a simple smile

So I drive out to the middle of nowhere
And I turn little as I stare up
At the stars in the sky
And these heavens erase any worries I face
If I look up once in a while

And it goes to show that there’s
A natural way of healing
What we’re feeling inside
It goes to show that before
We prescribe we should first try a simple smile

Give it a
Smile, smile, smile
Just a little
Smile, smile, smile


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