Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Petal Pact

I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck. -- Emma Goldman

Welcome back!

My home is always full of flowers. There is not a room within this residence that does not contain at least one flower arrangement, regardless of the season. I am fortunate enough to have blushing summer bouquets permanently at my bedside and on my kitchen table, next to my bathtub and on the fireplace mantle all year round.
Mind you, I make a modest income and do not have the means to purchase these extravagant beauties on a daily basis, so I buy them once and they last, in many cases, a lifetime.

Perfumes are the feelings of flowers.--Heinrich Heine,The Hartz Journey
The second bunch sets up house immediately upon ‘moving in', choosing to occupy the space around them in a myriad of floral embodiment which can be found in anything from textiles and porcelain to paintings and prints. 

Unlike their living counterparts, their inanimate quality allows them the luxury of becoming permanent residents and in doing so, they may be referred to as ‘hosts’, always making sure that their fellow dwellers are well looked after, comfortable and even, on occasion, pampered. 

Ultimately, together they make the perfect pair as one provides a temporary and refreshing change to an equally important stable foundation. 

So, give me flowers in any way, shape or form and give me a little happiness. As Claude Monet, master of the flower aesthetic once said, "I must have flowers, always, and always."

Thanks for visiting.
Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Flower Frenzy

Welcome back!

Ever since I was a little girl, I can remember being entranced with flowers. Actually, my first hypnotic experience with these beautiful and fragrant phenomena took place during the spring of 6th grade.  We had acquired a pretty two-level garden with the purchase of our new home, three years earlier. But it wasn’t until that particular spring that I suddenly took notice of the profusion of plump pink peonies that had sprouted in lush bushes, bordering the periphery of our property. 

One sunny morning, while I was packing my lunch in the kitchen, I heard mom calling me from outside. I quickly tucked the brown paper bag into my knapsack and ran out toward the yard, slamming the screened door clumsily behind me.  As I scurried down the rocky stairs to the garden, I could see mom holding something shiny in her hands.  Stepping into the shade of her shadow, she lowered the crumpled silver cone just under my chin to reveal the most exquisite scent I had ever experienced in my life. I gently closed my eyes and inhaled the powdery pink bouquet as a smile slowly settled on my face.

 "These are for Miss Walton," mom said and handed me the  dew dotted petals tightly wrapped in a bundle of aluminum foil. I skipped all the way to school that eventful morning and only stopped upon reaching my classroom, to give my sweet teacher a little token of spring, and finally, to take my seat in anticipation of the rest of the day.

Sadly, the Mediterranean climate is not well-suited to the production of peonies. Longing to breathe in their distinctive scent, I once bought a small bunch from my florist a few years back. They were grown in Holland, but neither did they have that unique fragrance, nor did they open up after I placed them in water.  Instead, they only wilted and seemed heartbroken to be uprooted to this strange environment, removed from their natural habitat.

So, for now, I am grateful for the intoxicating aroma and delicate beauty of such warm weather gems like jasmine, honeysuckle, flowering herbs and woodbine, among other equally quaint and charming blooms, that daintily grace our colourful little garden, here in the hilly and enchanting countryside of Crete.

Thanks for visiting.
Talk to you soon.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Saturday Evening Stroll

Last Saturday, as I was making my way towards the church to attend evening mass, a brilliant blaze of bougainvillea burst before my eyes, its hot pink blooms clustered together, like a ring of fire, further intensifying the scorching heat of an already sun-baked day.

As I drew closer though, I realized that this fiery arch actually appeared to be guarding those in its surroundings against the sizzling temperatures, acting as a shield of shade, providing a covering of coolness and a place of darkness to hide from the smothering heat.

In fact, just below this arbour of piercing pink petals, a paved little path of gravel created a clearing among an infusion of multi-coloured bouquets that led to a second sanctuary.  

A small circular well, roughly stuccoed in white, was strategically situated in the perfect spot for savouring the sweetly scented beauties around it. I found myself doing just that and within an instant, was completely lost in its dream-like splendour.

Moments passed when a cool breeze lightly tapped me on the back and I awoke feeling refreshed and relaxed. In the distance, the muffled chanting of church bells could be heard, as I quietly closed the garden gate behind me and continued on to my original destination. 

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Rita's Roses

The painting above is the first piece of art that I remember my mother purchasing when I was a little girl. I was eleven, school was out, and it was a warm Saturday in early summer when my mom decided that she would take us to the small amusement park that had been set up in the parking lot of a nearby plaza. Dinner dishes put away, flowers watered and floors mopped, off we went for an exciting evening of old fashioned funfair games and rides. 

After braving roller coasters and haunted houses for us kids, mom deserved a break and so with snow cones in hand, we trailed behind her while she made her way to a quieter corner of the grounds, where a gathering array of artists and craftspeople had set up shop, displaying their wonderful creations in little stalls, side by side, as they chatted in a neighbourly fashion among themselves.


 And that’s when she spotted it. Always polite and endearing, she very sweetly told the young man sitting by a pile of brushes (who, we assumed, was the artist), that she thought it was beautiful and that it really appealed to her. He thanked her and smiled as he slowly sauntered over to us. Tall and lanky with a scruffy beard and long brown hair, he delicately commented that it suited her. It wasn’t about making a sale, the painting truly did complement her in a most mysterious way!  Something in its nature, a nurturing essence, a note of grace, spoke to us who were present and slightly bemused.


Mom ran her hands through her thick auburn hair as she carefully considered the weight of his words. Kneeling down to eye level, in a second of silence, I could sense her connecting to the beautiful image before her, a personification of her own myriad of manners. There was a subtle drama to it. The background, with its many moods of green, velvety and luxurious in texture, seemed a curtain- like backdrop to the luminous feature in the foreground, bursting of buttery yellow blooms, some strong and dazzling, others weak, drooping over a stubby clay-like vase, boldly accented by a few sun burnt burgundy leaves. Set in a coppery gold wooden frame, it was ready to be staged and seen by adoring eyes.

"Okay, dear, I take it!" she announced with foreign flair and just like that – we found ourselves standing motionless, staring at a designated spot on the blank white wall above our living room couch, where minutes later, the painting, by a charming A. Julia, took its place among other delightfully decorative items for many years. 

These days, it can be found in my home, where I hope it will continue to be an entertaining conversation piece, providing its hosts and guests with a stimulating view and a sense of familiarity, one that evokes memories of a sweet and fun-loving mother, a russet haired beauty, who, even today, remains as pretty as a picture!

Have a great week. 
Thanks for visiting.