Flowers in Anne of Green Gables: How Anne Loves her Garden
Have you ever read Anne of Green Gables? On a recent revisit to that old but delightful classic, we realized something about little red-haired Anne. She loves, absolutely loves, gardens and flowers. We experience, through her eyes, a colorful world filled with natural beauty. Anne of Green Gables features flowers of several varieties, mentioning them in speak, alluding to them in passing, and bringing them into the visual interpretation of the story.
Starting on her first day or so with her new home, Anne brings flowers in from the garden to decorate her room. Though her no-nonsense adoptive mom is somewhat averse to the idea, she gets permission to create a floral centerpiece for a visit of the new minister and his wife – and receives unyielding praise for doing so.
The heroine of our story gives names to trees and flowers and talks to them in case they’re lonely. While the action is obviously innocent and childish, it is one that carries meaning, symbolizing Anne’s sweet nature and, possibly, the overwhelming fear of loneliness. The descriptive power of the author is what makes the garden in Anne of Green Gables truly come to life. Each individual flower type within the batch is characterized in great detail.
The book, in short, is a veritable cornucopia of floral narrative and shows that Canadian author L.M. Montgomery loved flowers almost as much as her young heroine. In a world where action is praised, where we’re urged to move along, move along, isn’t it lovely to stop and smell the roses? Anne sure thinks so.
Starved for love, Anne is a highly sensitive soul who’s never had an opportunity to simply indulge in the delights of life, like cut flowers beautifully arranged in a vase, which is why these ordinary pleasures become so vivid, so all-encompassing. During the time period of the novel, gardens were an extension of the house and were to be tended carefully. In so doing, they gave rich treasures.
What other books have you read where gardens are a central motif? Had you noticed that about Anne of Green Gables? We, at daFlores, are always happy to read about flowers bringing people joy, and there’s no doubt that this happened for both author and character.