Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Loveliness of Flowers

The Loveliness of Flowers

Do you ever notice how flowers can lift our hearts at any given moment, for their sheer beauty is undeniable especially in peak seasons within humble family garden areas?

Do you ever notice how you feel when flowers arrive someone has thoughtfully intended for you on any specific day?

It’s no secret that I adore having floral within my home any given week of the year. My hubby graces the decor of our home often with a bouquet of flowers “just because” assisting in creating beauty with the loveliness of flowers in our home, and in the process also offering floral aromas , at least those scents he can handle with allergy issues. I’ve often posted my flower photos here on the blog, and it continues of course even in summer when we can waltz outdoors to collect colorful handpicked collections for the interior of our home.

My friend Bev is a self educated floral expert, her farm filled with garden beds of color and her vast knowledge of flowers is something else. For years and years I’ve admired her sense of artistry for the bouquets she assembles and the colors she chooses for them. Sometimes the greenery are simple lovely weeds to adorn the floral compositions, and other times they are natural wonders from deep within her fields.

Looking back sixteen years, she gave me a gorgeous hand picked bouquet when visiting our home and seeing our newborn son when her initial floral hobby first began. She lovingly blessed our son and his wife with all their wedding flowers and is doing so once more with another wedding this summer.

Flowers by Bev

with daughter and grandaughter holding their bouquets

Ivy filled greenery added a lovely and very
classic touch to the floral bouquets.

The attention to detail is something else, and though I’m living in the east now, I will always remember the country drives to her home to purchase a small bouquet weekly at her roadside stand. For four years I drove to her home biweekly when we gathered on her property for our “Little Flowers Girls Group” meetings and events. She taught the girls about her flowers and shared her passion, and her assigned teaching weeks were something the mothers also wanted to sit in on.

Pressing flowers

At the weekly farmers markets where she sold her flowers in past years, it was fun just to stand nearby her booth and absorb the colorful hues of the rainbow bouquets in various feature theme colors. With an upcoming wedding, the topic of flowers for bouquets is a lofty one, especially important to the bride for sure. Cut flowers are noticeable everywhere and it is by admiring them we remember the places we visit, the scents of the day while there and the beauty of the arrangements and placements of them all. I can hardly wait until this summer to see her flowers again, this time though, gerbera daisies and alot of rainbow colors!

A smidgen of places florals are present;

  • A friend’s new home open house.
  • Someone in the hospital.
  • A wedding.
  • The home with the newly born babe.
  • Attending church and observing feasts within the liturgical year, flowers make a huge impact on us during those times.
  • At a funeral we see plenty of floral beauty in honor of the loved one.
  • At the bank.
  • As a centerpiece on a restaurant table.
  • In hair updos and children’s wreaths of flowers during summer months.
  • In office buildings, secretaries day?
  • And surely dozens more...

Yearly floral occasions;

  • Thanksgiving – Fall color floral and leaves.
  • Christmas – poinsettias
  • Valentines – Roses and carnations
  • Easter – Lilies
  • Anniversaries – skies the limit
  • Spring – Tulips and Daffodils
  • Summer buttercups and dandelions (wink)
  • and surely dozens more...

Do you ever notice how we are attracted to the beauty of flowers automatically using our sense of smell, often tilting our heads just right to sniff the lush scent within a flower’s blooming bud? Which floral do we prefer? Lovely smelly, or stinky pewie?

Oh how flowers can fill our day with the simplicity of their beauty.

A simple daisy or rose bud plopped into a vase sitting on the windowsill to view while making dinner. Simple enough to melt and lift any weary heart.

A wildflower posie handpicked from a small child, his perspired hand warming them up to a subsequent wilted offering to mother along with an impressive grin on his wee cherub face, running quickly to place them all into a small demitasse teacup for a hopeful lift.

A handful of blooms from the garden relocated indoors and lovingly arranged in a special vase, filling our homes with the scent of outdoors.

Taking a basket out early in the morning before the heat of the day to gather a selection of floral and greenery for pressing in the flower press for obtaining a wonderful and colorful selection for winter designing once dried well.

“Real Men” like flowers too. I’ve sent flowers to my hubby to his office to perk up his long days and add colors to his day. Often his secretary and fellow worker would comment on how their wives haven’t done that before for them, with a tinge of green on their faces. Funny. Then, the secretary hopes for one too, the next step for sure on my agenda.

Did you know tomorrow is the first official day of summer, a season peaked with floral glory outdoors culminating into the loveliness of the season?

My beloved book by Cicely Mary Barker titled “The complete book of Flower Fairies” is off the shelf once more and I can’t figure out yet who loves it more, myself or the children. The author believed in recreating the beauty of art and in drawing from life. Her plants and flowers were observed with complete botanical accuracy and in the fairies themselves she perfectly captured the grace of young children whom she used to sketch in her sister’s school. Her Flower Fairies watercolors have a unique combination of naturalism and fantasy which no imitators have matched, however in the process she has managed to create lovely books adorned with great discoveries, both scientifically in nature and beautiful in their full colored glory. (You can find this book in the side bar to the right if you wish to have more information)

Included in this complete edition are the following books;

  • Flower Fairies of the Spring
  • Flower Fairies of the Summer
  • Flower Fairies of the Autumn
  • Flower Fairies of the Winter
  • Flower Fairies of the Garden
  • Flower Fairies of the Trees
  • Flower Fairies of the Wayside
  • A Flower Fairy Alphabet
  • Old Rhymes for all Times
  • The Fairy Necklaces

One daughter is enjoying the coloring book to accompany the alphabet fairy flowers section, so beautiful!

During this same time period, other authors were coming into their own bit of fame though many didn’t actually see any monetary measures for many years. Advancing into the wonderful world and ecosystem of nature, our home is filled with lovely resources and references to keep us glued to the loveliness of floral beauty and the details which leave us all yearning for more, more, more. We use all our senses when exploring outdoors, and have been into the habit of sketching our finds, pressing them and enjoying the glory of the season all year long.

Some of our favorites on flowers.

As mentioned before, my books are my most treasured earthly possessions (wink), and I wouldn’t dare part with my favorites for anything. A few happen to be sitting nearby, dearly cherished for either being simply beautiful or a children’s favorite on this topic (though endless for listing I’m certain) are in the photo above. Of course, there are plenty of others, just these ones are beckoning our attentions recently and give a great perspective on the loveliness of flowers.

Did you know all flowers were given a Latin name, a common name we know them by and all contain special meanings? In Victorian times, certain flowers had specific meanings because the flower selection was limited and people used more symbols and gestures to communicate than words. However, today, with so many flower choices, there are no rules - it's the sentiment that gives the gift its meaning. Many people assign their own personal meanings - a flower or color that might remind them of a special event or moment in their lives.

Their intended symbolism is beautiful in of itself, leading to incredible expression to convey thoughtfulness, love, sympathy, joy, hope peace, friendship and everything in between. Flowers do contain a language all their own. You can find meanings for dozens of flowers in a list form compiled here

There are also religious meanings for many of today’s flowers which can be found in detail here and here’s a little excerpt on this entire other area of floral beauty…

Before the rise of Christendom, many flowers were associated with pagan deities--Diana, Juno, Venus, etc. -- but when the "Age of Faith" ascended and superceded the pagan, these flowers were "christened" and re-dedicated to Christian themes. So many flowers were named for Jesus, Mary, the angels, holy places, etc. --enough such that you can create a garden focused on specific aspects of Jesus, Mary, their lives, such as His Passion or her sorrows. Enchanting names, like"Our Lady's Tears" (spiderwort), "Christ-Cross Flower" (Summer phlox), "Joseph's Coat" (Amaranthus), "Pentecost Rose" or "Mary's Rose" (peony), and "Our Lady's Mantle" (morning glory), abounded.

So, here’s an idea to challenge you this summer;

Grab your camera and click away at those annuals, perennials, bushes, wildflowers, anything of color grabbing your attention out your windows within your own garden. Take a few pictures to remember the beauty and loveliness of summer when winter comes nipping at your toes. Then next year when it’s time for your hands to tend to the garden soil, you’ll remember what lay within the area, certain to keep it flourishing for years to come.

When our gardeners came to assist in renovating our garden beds, I was thrilled to remember I’d snapped many photos of the gardens in bloom last year, finally able to find out what floral we had in them, and what might come back to visit again this year we weren’t sure of for certain from the wintry looking beds. This year, I’ve continued to take photos of the budding blooms and I’m enjoying the color immensely so far…

Oh, and while you’re at it, carry a small tray or basket and a pair of scissors to snip a few lovelies to grace your home.

Let me know how you enjoy them indoors.