|'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.