Friday, July 10, 2020

Not Five on Friday, But Still Nice

'Delphiniums in the front window'

" Keep creating new windows
from which to look at your world. "

My, the week did fly - surely, it's not Friday already? We've had lots of rain, some sunshine, and delightful opportunities to poke in the garden where the flowers have been doing their generous thing of making us happy, happy. It's been a quiet and pleasant week for me, I do hope you've found it to your liking as well.

I've got the start to the July edition of Simple Woman's Daybook plus a new book post underway, but neither were ready for today even though, as I say, it's Friday already. My brain has felt a little skatty this week, and trying to corral thoughts into something coherent has had its moments. So, I am taking the easy way out today with a simple Five Three on Friday, because I didn't want the week to pass without a note from me to you.


" To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere
without moving anything but your heart. "

I recently ordered the loveliest box of notecards from Amazon. Botanical illustrations from the Drawings and Prints collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It's a set of 20 (4 each of 5 gorgeous designs). Printed on quality cardstock, they are a delight to write in. I've sent off a few already and am musing about what nice things I could share before mailing more.


" Gardening has this embracing quality
in that it colours the way you look at the world. "
PENELOPE LIVELY, Life in the Garden

What's better than having one book by a good author - how about having two sitting on one's bedside table?

I'm currently engaged in Ammonites and Leaping Fish in which the author addresses aging, memory, time and life in the 20th century from her standpoint as an eighty-year-old. Very interesting, I find it, especially as I begin to relate to some of what she says even though I haven't reached that stage just yet. She once loved gardening but finds her abilities much impeded by various ailments. I like her thought about how gardening is so forward-looking. I'm not sure if I thought about it quite like that before, but it's so true:
Dividing fat clumps of snowdrops: out of many shall come more still. And that was - is - the miraculous power of gardening: it evokes tomorrow, and is eternally forward-looking, it invites plans and ambitions, creativity, expectation. Next year I will try celeriac. And that new pale blue sweet pea. Would Iris stylosa do just here? And what about sweet woodruff in that shady corner? Gardening defies time; you labour today in the interests of tomorrow; you think in seasons to come, cutting down the border this autumn but with next spring in your mind's eye.

I've been slow reading Life in the Garden over the past few weeks as the spirit moves. It's a lovely memoir in which Penelope Lively reflects on her lifelong passions for art, literature and gardening through her key themes of time and memory. Had a chuckle at this comment of hers:
So far as I am concerned the difference between men and women is that men are interested in cutting grass and women are not. I actually prefer a daisy-sprinkled lawn; Jack, of course, wanted meticulous stripes.


" There are few pleasures like really burrowing
one's nose into sweet peas. "

A single white blossom found last evening - the first of the season - holds in its delicate petals the power to elicit a ne'er forgotten memory of a little girl's first encounter with these sweet smelling flowers. I was about four or five at the time and we were standing in our neighbour's garden, where sweet peas profusely climbed and twined against an old garage wall. My little girl heart was smitten.

To some, like me, the fragrance is the most important aspect of the sweet pea. Don't get me wrong, I love the flowers and the pretty colours they come in. But please don't give me sweet peas where their fragrance has been groomed out of them for larger blossoms. Whoever, in the world of botany, thought for a single moment that people wanted larger blossoms at the expense of the flower's fragrance has absolutely no idea that fragrance is the flower's very soul. And I'm pretty certain it is the sweet fragrance of the sweet pea - or any flower - that engages our hearts as people. A little bouquet can scent a whole room with its fragrance. And we all know how happy that makes us feel.

When we are being introduced to someone's garden, don't we automatically bend to catch the fragrance? The beauty is what makes a flower stand out, but it's the fragrance that gives it heart and soul. Would we love roses as much if they were without fragrance? I cannot imagine it, can you?

* * *

" A flower's appeal is in its contradictions—so delicate
in form yet strong in fragrance, so small in size yet big
in beauty, so short in life yet long on effect. "

* * *

Here's wishing you a beautiful weekend.

Heart Hugs,


  1. Sweet peas are quintessentially summer! And I quite agree with you--trading off scent for large blooms--just not on!

  2. Thank you. Those roses that the deer love and look terrible are getting dug up and chucked over the banking. They have no aroma whatsoever. I am probably not as much of a fan of aroma because I don't like the bugs that aromas attract, but I appreciate the gentle soft smell of peonies and even the stink of marigolds. 😉

  3. Lovely photos! I've never had the pleasure of smelling sweet peas but now I want to. :) Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. What lovely photos and great quotes. Have a wonderful weekend dear Brenda ~ FlowerLady

  5. My sweet peas are still in bud, so I wait eagerly. A neighbour gave me a bunch yesterday and the house is e=scented with a lovley perfume.
    Very nice notelets. It's not easy to find them on line.

  6. Beautiful, Bren. And thanks so much for the info on the books. They both sound lovely. Oh, how I long for sweet peas. I grew them in VA. with little success as it was too hot, even when I planted them in the fall. I may give them a try here and plant them in the fall. We have had such hot weather.

    Thank you for this lovely post and the wonderful quotes as well as your words. Have a great weekend!

  7. you had me with 'poke in the garden where the flowers have been doing their generous thing of making us happy, happy.':) lovely as always!
    Happy, happy Weekend to you!

  8. Sweet peas have such a lovely scent! I've enjoyed Penelope Lively's books since I read her Stitch in Time for a Children's Literature course in the 1980's. Her adult fiction and memoirs are interesting as well. They are indeed books to be savoured. I've just got my July books and I will write about them soon. Our weather is wet here and I try to get out every time there is a sun break.

  9. I picked a small bouquet of sweet peas this afternoon to place on the kitchen windowsill where I can catch a whiff of them as I work in the kitchen. I agree with you about the puzzlement of breeding out scent in favour of larger blossoms, and I say the same about roses. Hybrid teas often have little scent which is why I look for David Austin roses for my garden.
    I've not read Penelope Lively, but you have me adding her to my ever-growing list of authors to read. We've had a week of company - so lovely - and now it's time to think more about house, garden, and books.
    I hope you are enjoying a peaceful and blessed Sunday.

  10. What lovely cards. I'm hoping to start sending happy mail again this month!

  11. I've never grown sweet peas, nor did I grow up with them. I think they are delicate and sweet, and maybe I'll have to try growing them sometime.

  12. The new notecards are lovely. I have some new seashore cards that I like to send out. I'm interested in the books you've mentioned too. I'll see if my library has these. Enjoy your day! Hugs!

  13. I loved Life in the Garden, and have a novel by Lively on my shelf that I have yet to delve into. I think I would like to hear her voice in the recent book by her that you refer to, as I enjoyed it so much at first encounter.

    A few sweet peas volunteered and bloomed in the middle of my mass of edible peas this spring. I didn't even see them when I reached to pick a snow pea, and a whiff of their scent startled me deliciously! I hope next year I can plant and smell more of them <3

  14. Very lovely post. Thank you. I needed this more than I realized.

    Hope you are staying safe and well.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo