Flora, from the Villa Ariadne, Stabiae. 2nd century BCE.
Flora is married to Zephyrus, the West Wind. Ovid says that as she talks, her lips breathe spring roses:
I was Chloris, whom am now called Flora. Latin speech corrupted a Greek letter of my name…. I enjoy perpetual spring: the year always shines, trees are leafing, the soild always fodders. I have a fruitful garden in my dowered fields, fanned by breezes, fed by limpid fountains. My husband filled it with well-bred flowers, saying: “Have jurisdiction of the flower, goddess.” I often wanted to number the colours displayed, but could not: their abundance defied measure.
As soon as the dewy frost is cast from the leaves and sunbeams warm the dappled blossom, the Horae (Seasons) assemble, hitch up their coloured dresses and collect these gifts of mine in light tubs. Suddenly the Charites (Graces) burst in, and weave chaplets and crowns to entwine the hair of gods.
~ Ovid, Fasti
Spring arrives today! Flora’s beautiful gifts will soon appear, to brighten the world once more!