"Rappaccini's Daughter" is characterized by rich imagery in its descriptions of the garden and its beauty, and these descriptions captivate both Giovanni and the reader. As Giovanni looks down into the garden beneath his window, he is impressed by the beauty of its plants:
There was one shrub in particular, set in a marble vase in the midst of the pool, that bore a profusion of purple blossoms, each of which had the lustre and richness of a gem; and the whole together made a show so resplendent that it seemed enough to illuminate the garden, even had there been no sunshine.
The elaborate visual imagery conveys the bewitching beauty of the garden for Giovanni. The "purple blossoms" are described as having a "lustre," which refers to a soft glow or sheen. In turn, the flowers stand out as bright, glistening objects in the garden. Furthermore, the story metaphorically suggests that the flowers are so lustrous and rich that they resemble gems, as they seem to glow of their own accord. In fact, the garden's beauty seems too great to be natural. The imagery here not only invites the reader into the mixture of awe and skepticism that the garden inspires in Giovanni, but also implies that there is more to the garden than meets the eye.
Using similes, the story repeatedly compares Beatrice herself to the flowers of the garden. Watching Beatrice tend to the garden, Giovanni thinks she resembles them:
[...] for the impression which the fair sister made upon him was as if here were another flower, the human sister of those vegetable ones, as beautiful as they, more beautiful than the richest of them, but still to be touched only with a glove, nor to be approached without a mask.
The similes in the passage above not only compare Beatrice to the flowers in the garden in terms of her beauty, but also insinuate that she is just as toxic as they are. The simile comparing her to the "human sister" of the toxic flowers further highlights the notion that Beatrice resembles the flowers not just superficially, but at a fundamental level.
The story further accentuates this comparison through metaphors. In the same scene, Giovanni "almost doubted whether [Beatrice] were a girl tending her favorite flower, or one sister performing the duties of affection to another.” Again, this metaphor suggests that the toxic flowers are Beatrice's kin. These comparisons between Beatrice and the plants of the garden foreshadow the revelation that her body is poisonous.