What’s an idiom? For a student of English as a second language, it’s something similar to a nightmare. How else can you describe an expression whose meaning has nothing to do with the meaning of its individual words?!
I’m an advanced English student from Spain, so I know first-hand how difficult it is! From one confused learner to another, I’m going to help you understand some idioms that include plants and flowers:
1. Actually I wasn’t born with green fingers. My plants die quickly.
o Green: colour
o Fingers: on the hand
o Green fingers?
NOOOO! Here’s the definition of “green fingers” by wordreference.com
Green fingers: “considerable talent or ability to grow plants”
Now we can understand the first sentence: in other words, I’m not a great gardener.
2. I have heard he is pushing up the daisies.
o Push up: move with force to a higher place
o Daisies: flowers
o Pushing up daisies?
NOOOO! The definition of “pushing up daisies” by wordreference.com
Pushing up daisies: “dead and buried”
So, the meaning of the second sentence is: he’s dead!!!
3. After 40 years in the company, they put our supervisor out to pasture.
o Put somebody out: to inconvenience somebody
o Pasture: grass
o Put someone out to pasture?
NOOOO! Totally different:
Put someone out to pasture: “to make somebody retire”
It’s clear, isn’t it?