The Queen’s Wreath
Her Majesty The Queen’s wreath on her coffin features flowers from her beloved Balmoral’s gardens: dahlias, sweet pea, phlox, white heather, and pine fir.
The wreath also contains: spray roses, freesias, button chrysanthemums, dried heather, spray eryngium, foliage, rosemary, hebe, and pittosporum.
She must have loved her gardens at Balmoral. The Queen’s family will be escorting her from Balmoral to London, and then to her final resting place. It’s wonderful to know she is surrounded by all that she loves—including Balmoral and the flowers that grow there.
Most of the flowers in the wreath are ones that Americans have easy access to. But I had never heard of eryngium or hebe. It turns out eryngium is what we call blue thistle. Hebe is a shrub that is native to New Zealand. It looks like a cross between bee balm and veronica to me. Sweet pea and heather are flowers that we have access to but are not ones that we tend to use, at least on the east coast.
Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage, wrote a poem in memory of Her Majesty The Queen. The poem accompanied photos of the many flowers left in honor of The Queen.
Evening will come, however determined the late afternoon,
Limes and oaks in their last green flush, pearled in September mist.
I have conjured a lily to light these hours, a token of thanks,
Zone and auras of soft glare, orbing the sprays and globes
A promise made and kept for life—that was your gift—
Because of which, here is a gift in return, glovewort to some,
Each shining bonnet guarded by stern lance-like leaves,
The country loaded its whole self into your slender hands,
Hands that can rest, now, relieved of a century’s weight.
Evening has come. Rain on the black lochs and dark Munros.
Lily of the Valley, a namesake almost, a favourite flower
Interlaced with your famous bouquets, the restrained
Zeal and forceful grace of its lanterns, each inflorescence
A silent bell disguising a singular voice. A blurred new day
Breaks uncrowned on remote peaks and public parks, and
Everything turns on these luminous petals and deep roots.
This lily that thrives between spires and trees, whose brightness
Holds and glows beyond the life and border of its blooms.