One of my favourite flowers is buddleia, also known as the butterfly bush. The plant grows wild and was first imported by the Chinese in the late 19th century. There are many tales of the healing properties of buddleia which would probably explain its popularity with the Chinese. I love the energetic nature of the plant- it flourishes in spite of the weather- too much rain, great! No rain, even better! Freezing cold, no problem! Buddleia is much loved by bees who feast on the proliferation of lilac or dark purple flowers that are long lasting and extremely fragrant. I have kept a buddleia flower in an old liqueur bottle in my house for many years - the flower is dried and almost black with age but the perfume is as strong as ever. I often wander past the flower first thing in the morning, bleary-eyed and half asleep. As the perfume wafts into my nose, I usually smile. Like an old friend, buddleia is always there and cheery-faced. It is the best way to describe this fragrant, chirpy flower that thrives in all weathers and is a vital source of food for our native bees. Keen gardeners despair at the adaptability of buddleia which never seems fazed by poor soils or awful weather- it thrives regardless. True horticulturalists find it rather unattractive. The buddleia is cheery, lighthearted and doesn't seem to take the world too seriously- surely those are all excellent attributes that most humans should try and mimic in their own lives?
Photo copyright SvD.