Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Aphrodisiac Anyone?

Just when I thought I hadn’t got anything suitable to match Viridian’s Sunday Stamps theme of ‘Hearts and Flowers for Valentines’ I remembered this 1993 set.

The accompanying notes in this presentation set tell us that the double tubers of some European species were used as an aphrodisiac and gave rise to the name given to them in Ancient Greece - ‘orchis’ literally means ‘testicle’ in Greek. Not very romantic but the  neither is the pierced heart symbolism of the martyred St Valentine! Shakespeare had poor Ophelia include two varieties in her garland; perhaps she’d have won Hamlet’s heart if she’d left them out - they were 'long purples' and 'dead men’s fingers’!

Follows cupid’s arrow over to Sunday Stamps 159 and see what other hearts and flowers have been portrayed in the postage stamps.


  1. Thank you for joining in today! Orchids I think have long been associated with s-e-x, even in everyday life. Funny to hear about the origins of the name however!

  2. I love orchids and that is also a great presentation set.

  3. Hello!
    Orchids do seem to be a flower that holds a continuing fascination for people. They are such exotic looking 'creatures' and have always defied our efforts to keep them alive. Perhaps kindly neglect is the best way to treat them? We have certainly managed to reduce more Orchids to a mushy pulp than almost any other houseplant which we have owned!

    The stamps look wonderful. Truly amazing the detail that is contained in these tiny images.

    Thank you so much for your kind comment. It is greatly appreciated. We are glad to be back!

  4. I haven' seen this set before; they look great. Why does "No Orchids for Miss Blandish" come to mind?

  5. The orchids make lovely stamps. The presentation pack is nicely illustrated, the ones they do today are sparse in comparison.

  6. A few facts there I never knew about orchids! Such lovely stamps too. Recently came across my old stamp album and I'm kind of hoping one of the kids might show an interest, though no sign yet!

  7. Well, I'll look on orchids in a completely different way now....