The first Easter Lily bulbs (Lilium longiflorum) were brought to the United States in a suitcase in 1919. A soldier returning from Japan during WWI had the lily bulbs with him, and it seems that he gave them to his friends as gifts. This happened along the southern coast of Oregon and California, where they have been cultivating them ever since. Sometimes they are called Bermuda Lilies because they are grown there as well. Read more
A long time ago I read something, somewhere about sweet peas that has stayed with me. (My first inclination is to give Martha Stewart credit for this tip even though she seems to get the credit for everything in the “Home and Garden” world…did she really come up with it all? Or is it that she knows how to get the word out in a stylish, fresh way? And yet, when she is instructing us about something, it feels a bit awkward, if you know what I mean…). Read more
There is something enchanting and uplifting about a single hyacinth bulb blooming on a gray, damp winter day, something about the clustered, heady perfume of its flower, the thick green stem, the swirling roots below, and the bulb sitting perfectly in the pinched-neck vase designed specifically for it. Read more
This arrangement was inspired by the painting below: The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1882) by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925). I used a tall blue and white vase, white lilies, and an amber apothecary bottle against a dark background to create an interpretation of the painting and what it suggests to me. Read more
I am on the side of Katharine S. White about arranging flowers: Fear Not!
Here is her husband, E.B. White, describing her as she creates floral bouquets: She never hesitated, she never fussed, and she was quite rough with flowers as if to say, “If you can’t take the heat, go away somewhere and wilt.” She worked quickly, deftly, and seemingly without plan. Read more
I love chrysanthemums for their resistance to frost, their diversity of form, their strong pungent foliage, and their great range of cheerful yet subtle autumn colors.
~Katharine S. White in Onward and Upward in The Garden
This weekend while the flowers waited on the dining room table (more heirloom mums from local color flowers), we had bagels and coffee and cinnamon rolls in the kitchen (and lots of coffee was brewed). We talked about the upcoming holidays and the wedding in the future (and why the dogs were not along for the visit), and sometime during all this the stems were photographed, before they got snipped away and discarded and forgotten about…and here they are, looking so green and straight, so very important, which they are.
Here are some of my favorite books on arranging flowers:
Madderlakes’s Trade Secrets: Finding and Arranging Flowers Naturally by Tom Pritchard and Billy Jarecki
Simply Flowers: Practical Advice and Beautiful Ideas for Creating Flower-Filled Rooms by Barbara Milo Ohrbach
Outside/Inside: Decorating in the Natural Style by Barbara Aria
Souvenirs: Gifts from the Garden by Kathryn Kleinman and Michaele Thunen
Garden Inspirations by Charlotte Moss
These are not the latest or the greatest, just the books that I seem to find myself leafing through often. There are so many lovely books on flowers…I’d love to hear what’s on your bookshelf.
I have very little experience with dahlias. I’ve never grown them, and the few times I’ve bought them, they have slumped over in the vase almost immediately, their heavy heads dragging them down, or they have withered so quickly, looking sickly and sad, that I have avoided dahlias instead of celebrating them like so many gardeners and florists do. Read more