Springtime has always been my favorite season. I welcome the return of warmth and lengthening days, but by far my passion is for flowers. As long as I can remember, I have enjoyed the variety and colors, with irises being my favorite. Back in the day, mail order seed companies printed full color catalogs with endless varieties of flowering seed and bulb choices. With the same glee the Sears Wish Book brought most children, I poured over each and every page, wishing I could buy iris bulbs for every color imaginable, even black.

Captivated by their graceful shapes and colors, people do everything from gifting flowers to showcasing them in highly cultivated gardens. Flowers calm, comfort, and romance with a touch of living brilliance unrivaled in creation.

Photograph of a pair of blue colored Japanese Iris

The design of each flower stands as one of the easiest ways to identify families and species. One might consider that with literally hundreds of thousands of plant varieties, one would encounter an excessive amount of duplication in appearance. Think about tulips, roses, carnations, daisies, red buds, dogwoods, wild cherries, bleeding hearts, orchids, poppies, peas, and passion flowers.  As you think of even more varieties, what do they have in common and how are they different?  The diversity exhibited by flowers is astounding.

And with a few exceptions, wherever one finds flowers in the four corners of the earth, they are universally gorgeous. Why is that?  (I said a few exceptions—one is the Corpse Flower that smells like rotting meat. Apparently it is pollinated by flies; I would sort that as either a byproduct of the fallen, corrupt world or the Creator’s sense of humor.)

I think explaining this is a struggle for naturalists who lean on the notion that insect pollinators had discriminating taste in fine art, selecting the most aesthetic varieties and ignoring the “wallflowers”, so to speak. Ultimately, the unattractive and thus, not pollinated species died out, leaving the spectral floral selections we have on the earth today.  Maybe I’m stretching their explanation too much, but they do have a concept of coevolution.  The claim is that plants and pollinators evolved together. Yet that does not well explain the beautiful results nor how both got to where they are now from a primitive starting point.  Again, we are talking about thousands and thousands of unique plants and insects scattered across the entire globe. For this to have happened as they say requires astronomical odds, a point with which I think they would agree.

Closeup photograph of wild cherry blossoms

Rather, what we have here on a grand scale is a Creator-designed symbiotic relationship between the flowering plants and the little creatures that pollinate them.  The insects seek sustenance from nectar; they leave with particulate pollen clinging to them, unwittingly ferrying pollen from bloom to bloom, cross-pollinating as they go. It is altogether marvelous.

Plant nectar, which varies in flavor and quality from one species to another, is not only food for bees but also the raw ingredient for honey.  Honeys have different flavors, depending on the kinds of flowers favored and visited by honey bees.  Honey has the added health benefits of being a natural sweetener and may help those allergic to pollen (especially when bought from local honey producers).

As we round out the wonders of flowers, consider the many scents that attract insects and are a delight to humans.  Many flowers, in fact, are chosen for their aromatic qualities for creating perfumes and fragrances.

Photograph of two purple crocus blossoms

When a suitor gives his beloved a dozen roses, he wants her to know about his interest, affection, and love for her. As the florists say, “Say it with flowers!”  Well, God has said it with flowers, wooing humanity, yes, humanity, with a big, bodacious bouquet to expressly show His providential love for us.

Maybe you don’t give much thought to flowers, but you would have to agree with me that people are the only creatures on earth who can fully appreciate them. So this spring season, take a closer look at all the flowering plants, whether in the wild, in landscape, or in the florist’s shop. Let them overload your senses; be bombarded with these fragrant and stunning delights. Be filled with wonder.

Photo Credits

“Bradford Pear Blossoms” (Cover Photo), “Japanese Iris”, “Pink Flowering Cherry Blossoms”, “Purple Crocus Flowers” by Eric Jon Job