Agapanthus in Bloom: The Story Behind Our Name

Welcome to the season of Agapanthus, the "Flower of Love", now in bloom in a garden near you.

With Agapanthus popping up everywhere in our area now, it seems like the perfect time to talk about our name.  Every day, visitors to our shop politely ask, “Can you pronounce the name of this shop for me?” or, “What does Agapanthus mean?”  Sometimes our customers will give a knowing wink and nod of approval, then as if confidentially sharing a password, they whisper, "Agapanthus." I take it as a secret handshake of sorts from a fellow garden enthusiast. 

Sometimes the question is straight to the point. "Why did you choose Agapanthus as the name of your shop?” Code for: "Who even knows what this means, and in case you missed it, it’s a little hard to say."  To which I often reply, "Magnolia was taken,” with a wink and a nod of my own to Joanna Gaines.

So here is how we got our name. It came out of a brainstorming session with family and friends, where all the flowers were considered for naming, because a) flowers are pretty, b) it seems like so many boutiques have flowers in the name.  Camellias? Roses? Too perfect. . . Peonies? My favorites, but they don't grow locally. Though the idea of lush imperfection resonated.

On her drive home from the session, my daughter-in-law Anne noticed all the Agapanthus flowers blooming in so many of the gardens she was passing.  She called me from the car. “How about Agapanthus?”

Aga-panthus. It's a bit of a tongue twister, but yeah. So many people love this flower, have this flower already. . . could it work?

She made her case.  “The name means ‘flower of love’ in Greek (beautiful- and Mom is Greek), it’s blue (my favorite color and great for branding), no one’s using it (ummmmm... because it's hard to say?), and it’s blooming everywhere (true)!”

Beloved by gardeners around the world, the Nile Lily (common name), can be found in most landscapes north central Florida. Why? The relaxed appearance of the blooms, the evergreen leaves, and its easy-care habit offer lots of beauty without lots of work, year after year. I remembered having it in my garden in California, where it was desert-hot and dry, and the decomposed granite soil was as hard as a rock.  Agapanthus flourished where little else would, as it does here in my sandy Florida garden.

Going against what I learned about the need for brand names to be simple (Fedex, BMW), or immediately recognizable (WholeFoods), or easy to read (Napa), I decided to defy all of those conventions and instead just to have a little faith in people.  They’ll learn our name because they already know what it is. They just don't know they know.  Yet.

At Agapanthus our desire is to flourish, in good and tough times and perhaps a little imperfectly, as our namesake flower does.  We work to stand out by creating a welcoming place we can share with you every day, in person and online.  We fill the the shops with sights, scents, and things you can enjoy and find useful, and people you can rely upon.  All on our team work with tremendous passion toward these goals. 

So you see it's a fit.  We take a lot of inspiration from our little flower of love.  

And while we do have to spell it a lot, I did have a friend once tell me that she can't see Agapanthus flowers without thinking of our shop. Hence an advantage of uniqueness we hope is experienced by others. Well done, Anne!

We hope you delight as we do in this season of blooms, and as always, thanks for making this small independent business possible.  Drop a line below about your favorite flower, and pop in soon.  We look forward to serving you.


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