This Aubrieta I observed growing in a member’s garden. It ‘spills’ out of borders, walls and rockeries, looking like it is pouring over the edge. It is named after Claude Aubriet, the Frenchman who painted over 600 scientifically correct botanical images. He was also Painter To The King, the official artist to that greatest of French monarchs, Louis XIV, the Sun King, and then his successor. Although Aubriet may have been personally innocent, the master he served was stained with the blood of the Huguenots, the French protestants. Those that were not forcibly converted or murdered were forced to flee France. Many of them were intellectuals and businessmen, so this had a terrible effect on commerce, whose skills were transferred to Britain, Holland, Prussia and the American colonies where they could practise their faith without molestation. Aubrietia reminds me of those beautiful and brave people who put Christ before nation, heaven before earth and righteousness before conformity, as they spilled out of France into the foreign states that would welcome them.

Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. Hebrews 11:35-38, NKJV