I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight.
— William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2.1.255–60)
Whether for their practical uses or radiant beauty, flowers have always held a special place in our hearts. For my own green-thumbed mom, a basil plant or potted rose is the perfect gift for Mother’s Day. For Earth, flowers are not just pretty “window-dressing,” they are essential to keeping this planet friendly to all life.
RTB founder Hugh Ross, an avid nature photographer, points out some scientific reasons for valuing plants and flowers.
- Without flowering plants (angiosperms), Earth would be much too hot and dry for human civilization (see “Thank God for Flowers”).
- Vegetation helped increase Earth’s atmospheric oxygen and forms the base of the food chain (see “Let the Land Produce Vegetation”).
- Flowering plants helped prepare Earth for advanced animal life by efficiently removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere (see “Leaf Plumbing Design for Advanced Life”).
It just amazes me how even different types of plants play important roles in making Earth a fit place for us to live. As Hugh illustrates in these three articles, the nature of flowering plants and even the timing of their arrival on the planet fit so well with the biblical view of a loving Creator who engineered Earth to support a maximum variety of life.
Personally, I still think the best thing about flowers—from simple daisies to exotic orchids—is the way they showcase God’s unsurpassed artistry. What delight did He take in designing such beauty and then in watching humans (His most beloved creatures) enjoy and cultivate flower varieties of their own?
As you browse the florist’s shop for the perfect Mother’s Day bouquet, be sure to send up thanks to our Heavenly Father for fine-tuning plants to make Earth both habitable and beautiful.