This might be a sad thing if it weren't for zinnias, dubbed by the Victorian Age as the "Cinderella of the Garden," with their vivacious "flirtyness" wrapped up in a profuse rainbow of colors and sizes. Butterflies flock to them. Bumble Bees adore them and humans, well, we grow them for the same reasons, too.
Originally, zinnias were native to Mexico. They were discovered by Spanish explorers who brought them back to Spain and the rest of Europe. However, the zinnias of that time were not the ruffled beauties they are today. Rather, they were dull and considered homely. In, fact the Mayans called them "mal de ojos" which means "eyesores." This feeling was also shared by most Europeans of the time who dubbed zinnias "everybody's flower" or "poorhouse flower." A German scientist and botanist by the name of Johann Zinn, who lived in the 1700's and whose hobby was breeding wildflowers, is credited with the first steps in transforming this cast-away weed into the pretty princess-like bloom that now graces flower beds and boarders everywhere. Hence, zinnia's common name, "Cinderella of the Garden," is a Cinderella story...complete with a happy ending for us all!
|Pretty Thumbelina "Persian Carpet"|
There are those, I suppose,
who prefer to think of zinnias as stout,
standing stiff and stoic in their garden boarders but,
I prefer to picture zinnias as garden fairies' favorites.
frolicking gaily in their green and fancy skirts,
with their free-flowing "moppy" heads swaying in the wind.
Gathering memories to hold fast to
when cold days destined, are here and
Autumn's frost sends the zinnias away,
Until they reappear
on a mid-summer's day.
(by me, Cyndie