Persian Flora


Have you ever been asked if you have a favourite period or epoch you’d like to return to by Time Machine? Well I like Timurid Herat, 15th century for its balanced intellect. Horticulture was just as important as astronomy and mathematics.

Try to imagine the English cottage garden without hollyhocks. Viewing the paintings of the Herat School one sees a profusion of these flowers. In fact, early European travellers remarked on the seemingly infinite profusion of wildflowers that had been domesticated.

Alexander the Great’s Macedonians introduced the lemon and the peach to Europe from Persia. The Mediterranean knew the seville and the citron but imagine Mediterranean food without the humble lemon. The saffron crocus also came west, and to this day the Persia are proud it is their own, even suggesting like their carpets, that all others are fakes or imitations at best.

Other than her carpets nothing is more Persian than the rose. I have seen the original single petal Dog Rose Growing semi-wild around Shiraz in southern Persia. This area, the Persian heartland for 2500 years, is considered the home of the rose, with communities of rose oil distillers boasting a similar lineage.

The unusual Frittilaria Lily appeared in Vienna in 1576, causing a similar stir to the Tulip. Although the Tulip was first introduced into Europe from Istanbul by Dutch merchants it is considered to originate in the fertile high valleys of east Persia and came to Istanbul with the Turkic migrations of circa 1300.

Persia is gardens with flowers made perennial in rugs and carpets.

We humbly introduce you to this exquisite garden at The Bangalow Rug Shop.