Stocks

The distinctive blooms and beautiful scent make stocks the perfect flower to celebrate spring. Their botanical name is Matthiola, it is believed they were named after the Italian botanist and doctor, Pierandrea Matthiola who cultivated the flowers for medical uses, Matthiola believed the blooms promoted love and lust due to their strong fragrance. The sweet scented blooms symbolise a happy life and good luck and are often featured in for bouquets to toast births, anniversaries and weddings.

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The heavenly-scented flowers first appeared in South Africa, and they were exported to England in the 16th century, it was said they were used as currency to buy land. Often referred to as “Clove”, people believed the blossom was valuable, this is reflected in their meaning of opulence and wealth. Later they became very popular in English gardens and their spicy fragrance led them be called Gillyflowers - a popular name for flowers with strong clove scent. Also a member of the mustard family, which includes turnip and radish, stocks can be eaten - add them raw to salads or garnish desserts with the sweet flowers. Just make sure to avoid the roots and leaves which are not edible..

Edward Henry Bickersteth’s poem ‘To The Gilly-Flower’ is an ode to the beautiful and fragrant flowers.


Come, lonely, melancholy flow'r, 
Who lov'st with me the silent hour,— 
Come shed abroad, when stars are high, 
Thy faint perfume, thine od'rous sigh. 
Yet why should all thy beauties shun 
The warm embraces of the sun, 
And only to pale Cynthia's ray 
Reveal those sweets denied to day? 
Ah! 'tis the shade thy spirit seeks, 
And of sweet things thy spirit speaks; 
With love and death thy vigils are, 
Thy breathings of the ev'ning star. 
Thus 'tis with many a Child of Song— 
When stung by insult and by wrong; 
They fear another pang to bear, 
And seek the shade and shelter there.

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Fill your space with heavenly scented blooms this spring

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