the Easter Lily

Easter Lilys on table in porch

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

sweet peas (and a small digression)


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

flowers and the art of the table


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.