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Saturday, December 04, 2010

Used Beauty

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There were days in the 1970s when I was a young married woman that dried flowers were very hip. You could go to a fancy gift shop and buy a beautiful cachepot of dried purple larkspur and status, faded roses, and baby’s breath. I loved them, but I didn't buy them. If I was given fresh flowers for a special occasion, when they began to droop, I hung them upside down to dry them, and then arranged them in vessels around the house. I buried delicate heads of Queen Anne’s lace in silica sand to remove moisture for a few days and preserve them for mounting on cards and decoupage.

Then suddenly one day in the late eighties or early nineties I read somewhere someone challenging the idea of putting out dead flowers on tabletops or walls. “I don’t want anything dead decorating my house,” she wrote. “I only want fresh flowers.”

It didn’t occur to me at the time that I didn’t agree with her. Dried flowers were fading from vogue. Carolyne Roehm was publishing large gorgeous picture books on how to arrange fresh flowers, and I was buying them or receiving them as gifts. When Kirstie Alley kicked her cocaine habit, she decided to spend the same amount of money that she had spent weekly on cocaine on fresh flowers. Elton John had two full time staffers just arranging fresh flowers for the rooms of his mansion. At the house where we lived then, we had a dozen pink and fuchsia peony bushes, and I cut some of them for vases. It was a “free” luxury and added life to our rooms.

I spend little time cutting or arranging flowers now, and I’d rather not receive purchased flowers from a florist for a special occasion, feeling that the flower industry is a gigantic waste of resources, shipping them all the way from the Netherlands so I can have them on my table. Here on the farm, hydrangeas in front of the green barn blossom like fine Battenburg lace every spring and stay moist and lovely most of the summer. When the lush petals begin to dry, I think they are still as beautiful, if not even more so, and I know that soon snow will fall and accentuate the shapes and splay of the dried heads.








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84 comments:

Margaret Bednar said...

Oh Ruth! I LOVED leaving my perennial flower uncut and watching the snow create fascinating sculptures from them. I learned to do this from my mom who loves gardening. John is the green thumb in our family - likes everything organized and tidy - no weeds in his flower beds - so when I suggested he leave some uncut he had a hard time with it. But he did. Although, with the amount of snow we got when we lived in Petoskey, MI, well, my snow sculptures would soon be buried in many feet of snow. Your photos are amazing, as usual - the last one with the ice slowly melting is stunning.

We went to Greensboro tonight for the "Festival of Lights". The Bednar's had a blast standing in the direct "fire" of the snow making machine. Little wisps of snow floating around us - We in our heavy sweaters and hats amongst the southerners bundled in winter coats and scarves. It wasn't much below 40 degrees! We called it refreshing and crisp, but not cold. I guess we don't have our "southern blood" yet.

who said...

and then all will be loving and be loved and even though the road may be covered in snow we still won't have need for a sleigh.

the beauty of the flower


the real beauty of the petals
is not when everyone thinks
it's only after the useless youth

the flower is now the wings
this is the beautiful tRuth

perfectly transformed it comes

author unknown

it's kind of weird how nobody seems to understand what flower really are and what they become
what they really are can be understood by the masses of today by explaining the way most people admire flowers.

it would be like lovingly cultivating a rose bush and then right as the buds start to appear the guardner believing it means the plant is finished and dying so they cut it out.

can you imagine how many people would be walking around on cloud nine if all flowers were allowed by people to turn into not just any wings, but the wings of love

Kamana said...

i loved that last shot especially.

George said...

What a nice way to greet the morning! You have given us a brief return to spring and summer, capped by reminding us that winter, too, has its beauty. You have more than just a little wabi-sabi in your soul. As your photos demonstrate, you understand that things in transition are always beautiful. Stay warm and have a lovely, restful weekend.

Ruth said...

Margaret, once you've lived through winter in Petoskey, Michigan, 40 degrees is practically balmy, and yes, sweater weather! :) It's great that you like to let the plants remain after summer and fall. I think the garden in winter is just gorgeous, and I hope John will continue to be more convinced of it along with you. I love so many things about winter, getting to see the bare bones of the deciduous trees, seeing animal footprints in the snow, the special frosting that turns weeds into jewels.

Ruth said...

Dusti, that unknown author has got something special, after the useless youth, the wings of the flower. Thank you, and please convey to that unknown author if you see him that I have been carried away on wings of love.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Kamana, whenever I see that photo I think of a chandelier.

Ruth said...

Good morning, George. There was a wabi-sabi chant vibrating in my ears as I looked through my photo archives last night for the stages of the seasons in hydrangeas.

I will be staying warm, not venturing out, as I am nursing the dooziest of a cold that I've ever encountered. I'm grateful it's the weekend!

I wish you a warm weekend too, George. Thank you.

Vagabonde said...

What beautiful winter photos! It is a treat looking at your post. I don’t know when we will see snow here, may be in January like last year, if we are lucky. We may drive to North Carolina just to see the snow.
Flowers are like sweet deserts in our lives, even when they are dried. I only have dried flowers on an old sun hat now. But I still remember my husband placing flowers in my hair when we lived in San Francisco in the 60s.

Ruth said...

Hi, Vagabonde! It sounds so strange that you would drive from Atlanta to North Carolina to see snow! Well maybe it is of the snow machine variety, as Margaret explained?

I just love (always have since knowing you lived in San Francisco during the sixties) imagining you as part of that hippie scene, with your curly red hair, with a flower tucked behind an ear, or a garland of flowers across your brow.

If you're going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you're going to San Francisco
You're gonna meet some gentle people there.


But Don tells me the smell of flowers in your hair was the smell of marijuana. :)

Ruth said...

I mean the reference in the song, not you, Vagabonde, necessarily. :)

Bonnie said...

Hi Ruth. Wise words and exquisite photographs. I love dried hydrangeas especially the large, cone-shaped ones that come from tree hydrangeas. Usually I do not care for dried flowers (they become dust collectors in my view) but I succomb to an arrangement of dried hydrangeas every fall and keep them only until Christmas. Natures transformations are all so beautiful and we are ever blessed by their presence.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Bonnie. Hydrangeas are ideal for drying, unlike many other flower varieties that just lose their ability to stand after a day or two. I like that peegee variety too, if that is what it's called, with the cone-shaped flowers that turn bronze at the top and green toward the bottom. Just beautiful. Enjoy your weekend, Bonnie.

Dan Gurney said...

I'm wondering if the person who said, “I don’t want anything dead decorating my house,” had anything made of wood in her house——a picture frame, perhaps, or a carved Buddha, logs in the fireplace? Is wood anything other than the dead body of a tree? Beauty is everywhere, even in "dead" things. Thank you for the lovely post, Ruth.

Margaret Bednar said...

Ruth, we have to beg Vagabonde to search for an archival 60's photo of herself with flowers in her hair!

Ruth said...

Hi, Dan, I thought of that too. I feel, and I think you do too, that all things are alive and vibrating with movement. Life! My wonder never gets exhausted at the fire of the sun that just keeps burning and giving us more energy.

Thank you for your good comment, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Ruth said...

Margaret, seriously! I'll sign a petition! Actually, I think there may be a photo of her in one of her blog archives . . .

I'll investigate further.

Margaret Bednar said...

Oh, and I would guess Vagabonde is referring to the mountains in NC. We are about 2-1/2 to 3 hours from the mts, although last year we did get a few inches of snow for a couple of weeks. Schools close down and kids (even a few retirees) were sledding in very thin layers of snow. The excitement was huge and our kids taught one young boy how to make a snowman. Hope you feel better soon. I think we are finally over the "plague" that visited us.

Gwen Buchanan said...

yes indeed, beauty is all around us, we just have to realize it.

lakeviewer said...

Oh, those last pictures, breath-stopping!

Ruth said...

Thanks, Gwen. And some, like you, create beauty for the rest of us, incessantly.

Ruth said...

Lakeviewer, thank you, I'm glad you find winter beautiful too.

Friko said...

A lot of the fresh flowers for sale in this country come from Africa where they are grown under cover in fields which have been appropriated from native people who used to grow their food on them. Water also is diverted for the flowers we buy in Europe leaving tribes to go without.

I am lucky enough to have a garden to plunder for flowers and greenery. Otherwise I'll go into the woods and help myself to evergreen branches.

A lot of my herbaceous plants are left for the birds to harvest the dried seeds in winter.

It is so easy to look after our world if we give it a little thought.

No roses in winter for me.

Ruth said...

Oops, sorry, Margaret, I skipped you for a sec. Yes, I have heard about those snow days in the south, so exciting! :)

Thank you, I am feeling so much better than last night that I have been cleaning. I will probably be sorry. I'm glad you are all feeling better now, that was crazy.

Vagabonde said...

I saw Margaret’s note, but unfortunately when we bought our first house, in Decatur, GA, we were burglarized before we even moved in. The only things we had moved were two huge boxes of photo slides, a radio, a TV, and some decorations for the girls’ bedroom, and they took everything. So I have very few pictures from San Francisco. I placed some at the end of my September post on our trip to Norway - http://avagabonde.blogspot.com/2010/09/norwegian-coastal-voyage.html - but if I find some later on, I’ll place them in a post.

California Girl said...

It is lovely to have cut flowers from your own garden to display. Hydrangeas are so nice as are peonies. Trouble with peonies is they start losing petals almost immediately. But is anything more lush than a peony in full bloom?

Are these winter photos recent? I know a big snowstorm has blown through your way. We barely have any snow yet and the ski areas are making their own.

smith kaich jones said...

where have you been all my life & why am i just now finding you? i am enchanted!!! and linking you now. love, love, love your wonderful place.

:) Debi

Ruth said...

Friko, our sunflowers, many and tall, have almost been completely plundered by the birds.

I would like to gather greens for the house at Christmas too. Sadly, Peter has an allergic reaction to them, and so we have an evergreen tree of the manufactured variety. But when it's lit with white lights and covered with memorial icons of past Christmases and loved ones, it is just as real as any fresh tree.

No winter roses, and if I were really brave, I would not eat imported produce. I am unwilling to give up cantaloupe, so I am complicit.

Ruth said...

Vagabonde, oh yes, flower power pants. :)

Ruth said...

California Girl, hydrangeas and peonies make perfect bouquets without any effort.

No, the photos are from various years. We have only had a dusting of snow, which came on December 1 for the first time this season. We had a balmy October and November. We are having cold weather now, but hardly any snow. Just north of us Thanksgiving weekend there were several inches.

Ruth said...

Debi, what a nice welcome visit from you! How nice that now the feeling is mutual. :)

The Bug said...

In our old apartment we kept dried flower bouquets on the mantle. I thought they were gorgeous & it was fun to add to them with new flowers. Our new house doesn't have a mantle, so my favorite bunch of dried flowers sits in the garage. I should try to bring them back in the house - after Christmas maybe.

Marcie said...

Lovely images of the flowers..and I have to agree with you. The flowers are most beautifully grown fresh..and right outside our door - winter..spring..summer..or fall.

ellen abbott said...

I love hydrangeas. they make me think of my grandmother but I'm not sure why. I love these pictures Ruth.

cathyswatercolors said...

Oh my your photos are lush. Wonderful reminders of the glory of all of the seasons.
I had the same dried flower experience. I have to admit i love dried hydrangeas and had a bumper crop this year,no doubt due to the warm spring. It was fun giving them away to friends and neighbors,pick a bunch i'd say,take as many as you want.
Now the left over hydrangeas decorate the base of my moms majolica planter where i put a christmas tree. I ususally spend more time decorating this tree,luckily i did have some leaves i dried to place on it and tomorrow i will find some pinecones.This year the spirit is late in arriving but i plan on enjoying life moment by moment.
Happily my friend and i found bittersweet in the woods the other day:)
I need to go back and read some of your previous i've missed them.

xoxo keep warm.

neighbor said...

Ruth, as always, your photos are just beautiful. I really like the close photo of the dried hydrangea with details sharpened in just the few places. You are good at capturing nuance in color and light and in finding what evokes feeling. A delight to come and see them here.

Arti said...

You're very blessed Ruth in that you can enjoy fresh flowers right in your own front/back yard and garden. For those who don't have gardens, or who live in geographical areas where nothing will grow, they'll have to go to the florists. And, for those who can't even get close to any florist, they'll have to make do with dried flowers. It just shows that people all over seek beauty, and if they can't find natural beauty, they'll have to appreciate the remains of those that were once glorious. But you're very fortunate indeed that you are surrounded by beauty with life, in all seasons. Thanks for sharing them with us all.

rauf said...

Hindus and Muslims in India don't throw the used flowers of weddings or funerals in the garbage Ruth. they immerse them in the river or in the well. i don't know if it is good or bad. i would rather leave them in the trees. i don't remember plucking any flower Ruth. i have carried a bouquet a couple of times for my very old cousin who is still alive, oldest of the lot, she should be 85 now, she recognises only me, doesn't recognise her own nephews and nieces. She used to keep those flowers for weeks. i don't feel like throwing them away she used to say

lovely picture of the barn Ruth. gorgeous pictures as always

Ruth said...

Dana, that's cool. One thing I like about dried flowers is that there are usually memories associated with them.

Ruth said...

Marcie, thank you. What attracts the bee, also attracts me, and thee.

Ruth said...

Hi, Ellen, perhaps there is a subconscious memory in you that couples hydrangeas and your grandmother. Hydrangeas are nostalgic, old fashioned flowers that make me think of Victorian times.

Ruth said...

Cathy, I know, this summer produced a tremendous amount of growth in the garden. It sounds beautiful to put leaves, hydrangea, pinecones, and whatever else you gather, in the tree. I like that idea, and maybe I'll borrow it. I have to be careful with greens, because Peter is allergic.

Ohh, bittersweet. I wish I would find some here. It's one of my favorite things, what a color.

Thank you for your warm hugs, and I return them to you for a beautiful last couple weeks of school and then cozy holiday at home.

Ruth said...

Hi, Neighbor, thank you for such kind words. I do not know much technically about taking photographs, but one thing I have learned is that the light is probably the most important element. If I am able to capture it at all, I'm glad you feel it and it goes into your heart's sensor too.

Ruth said...

Hello there, Arti. I count my blessings to live at this farm, which is like a park. But I sometimes contemplate the minimum elements I would ask for if given a choice. I think of a room, a table, a comfortable chair, a notebook and pen, a laptop, and some books. But I would need beauty too, of the visual kind. I would hope for a door or window looking out at nature, but if I couldn't have that, what would I want? I might have to have a piece of art, or some preserved thing, as you say.

I hope that if people get flowers from a florist, they will try to avoid those that are imported. Now 75% of flowers at U.S. florist flowers are imported from overseas. I really hate consuming and producing that kind of energy and carbon just for flowers, which seems so counterintuitive!

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comment.

Ruth said...

rauf abi, you and I have this ongoing argument about cutting flowers. You would rather leave them on the trees and plants. I like cutting a few and bringing them in the house. I see them as food for the soul, worth cutting a few for soul life, just as cutting vegetables and fruits for consuming for our bodies is essential. But I think as with all things consumed by us, we should be careful how they are gathered, and if possible preserve them for their everlasting beauty.

But I admire your respect for all growing things, rauf. It is not an argument I ever hope to win, and I do not feel that I am losing anything for you to win. :)

Shari Sunday said...

Hydrangeas are my favorite. Also Magnolias but they wilt almost as soon as they are picked. I went through my dried flower phase and I still love the look if they are not so old that they are dried and broken and dusty. Loved your pictures.

Ruth said...

Dear Shari, I wonder if hydrangeas do well in Florida? It seems that the heat would do them in. Ours wilt if they are not given water regularly. Oh magnolias. They are almost unreal in their texture and fragrance. They're heady and just so elegant.

I remember when we had to figure out how to "dust" our dried flowers: we ended up using a hair dryer on low. :)

Susan said...

Ruth, Once again, you posted something absolutely beautiful and you make me wish I lived near you as I would love to have the occasional cup of tea with you and discuss everyday lovely things.
And then I spotted the Four Agreements plus One...yet another reason I know I'd like you!
Your post was a tonic on a very disillusioned, cranky day. Thanks! Now - I'm off to drink in some sunshine.

rauf said...

its the same thing Ruth, on the trees or in the house in a vase. Flowers droop and die. You are making better use, appreciate and love the flowers before they wither away. flowers make any one happy, in the vase or on the trees. Ruth wins
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Jeanie said...

Ruth, this is a beautiful post. I love the snow on the hydrangeas, the icicles. Hydrangeas are my favorite anyway -- and yes, I DRY them! I leave them up as long as they still look reasonably presentable. And yes, I love fresh, too.

Fact is, I long ago decided I don't have to be in vogue. I have to happy with it all! I think you discovred that, too!

♥ Kathy said...

I have dried flowers tucked away in books that I come across every now & then. I'm with you, they are just as beautiful as the fresh. I love that last picture Ruth...it's amazingly beautiful!

Dutchbaby said...

I remember the dried flower trend so well. My mother made beautiful arrangements with dried flowers in the sixties. She did not know that I, and my two best friends, went to all the free concerts in the Golden Gate Park during the "Summer of Love". What memories!

Carolyne Roehm is a very talented artist - I own several of her books. Her work has a timeless quality to them.

I love cutting flowers and greens from my garden, or my neighbor's gardens. With permission, of course, and I give back a bit in a miniature version of my creation. I confess, that sometimes I help the city's tree trimmers out. Those eucalyptus trees get so unruly if they aren't groomed once in a while. With all the budget cuts, it's least I can do ;-)

I try and buy local flowers whenever possible. Costco does its best to procure from local growers and I believe Trader Joe's buys fair trade flowers. I also like buying organic flowers, to give the workers in the field a break.

Having said that, it is impossible for me to resist the beauty that comes from Holland. I'm happy to say that the Dutch have done a great job of exporting their expertise in flower cultivation throughout the globe so that local flowers can be as glorious as possible.

Your photos are magnificent, especially the one with the bee and your final shot. I love seeing your blue barn from every angle in your photos. It's like a reliable character actor in your blog.

Oh dear, I'm afraid I went on an on here. That's what you get when you write about flowers...

Sandy said...

Gorgeous photos Ruth!

Pauline said...

Such beautiful photos! Alive, dried, or still on the vine, flowers make my heart sing. I don't pick many blossoms anymore, preferring to leave them where they stand though now and then I succumb to the urge to have a few fragrant blossoms in my tiny cottage. Beautiful post on all levels :)

Oliag said...

I am smiling here, having read your post. I'm smiling because I love your beautiful photos, I'm smiling because hydrangeas are one of my favorite (and my mother's favorite) flowers, and I'm smiling because when I married in 1977 dried flowers were very hip and my wedding bouquet, made in a fancy shop, consisted of dried flowers that matched the ribbon on my dress. I still have the bouquet, now a dusty faded yellow, and I dig it out of the store room on each anniversary.

I have always considered myself a terrible gardener because I cannot prune or cut any plant easily...even though I know it is good for them...I try to cut some for the house...and do occaisionally...but they always look so much better outside in the garden.

Susan said...

I'm with Oliag...I hardly ever cut flowers to fill vases. I enjoy seeing them in their natural setting so much more. I did cut my last blooming rose before it froze and it stayed on my kitchen window sill for more than a week and smelled so lovely.

I used to have dried flower arrangements and finally got rid of them because they were just dust gatherers.

The pictures are so gorgeous. I especially love the one with the honeybee and the one below. And I love the grouping of dead hydrangeas...yep, changed my mind, that's my favorite. :)

Barb said...

Flowers, like people, have their life stages. None of us can stay dewy and fresh forever but those older dried seed heads still have so much beauty (and purpose), I think. I love the snowy bushes against the patina of the barn and the path leading into the distance. That last frozen offering is wonderful!

who said...

I almost cannot believe it ruthi

it really is the "r" that rocks back against the "el" from a tight enough bond to make a "k"

absolutely insane. Insanity at it's finest eh?

you know I had to run all over the place trying to find book that were printed before all this craziness to prove to myself I was not insane.

I don't want to talk about my conclusions, instead I'll plead the 5th amendment, if all is in agreement. ;)

jux suppose, just suppose spelling didn't count on tests.

freefalling said...

Love the last shot Ruth.
And the fourth last one.
They are beautiful.
My hydrangeas are just coming into flower - though not showing any colour yet.
I grew them from teeny tiny cuttings last year that I snipped from bushes from an old vacant house.

Montag said...

Once again a marvelous update of "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady". How fresh your observations seem in the eternal cycle of the seasons!

Ginnie said...

Did you know, Sister, that it's very Dutch to have flower pots with plants lining the windowsills of almost every home/apartment here in Holland! Astrid has had 8-10 plants on our windowsill all year long, most of them orchids. One of her biggest disappointments in not having her own yard is not having her own flowers also outside.

I date myself but I still enjoy dried flowers. I enjoy both. If a bunch of roses has great significance, I extend their time indefinitely in some special vase in the house. In that regard, just call me old-fashioned!

Another post of wonderful images...especially the last one!

Dsole said...

what a lovely serie!! absolutely fascinating!!

Ruth said...

Hello, Susan, oh I would love to sit with you over your tea and my coffee and talk about flowers (and computers and cell phones and TV ads, a lá your post). I have been sick too and had to flip through TV ads, but I switched to movies before I got cranky! You and I both need some time out of doors ...

Ruth said...

rauf, hehehe, you make a very good point. :)

Ruth said...

Thank you, Jeanie. Hydrangeas seem to be doing a great job giving to many of us in the world, judging by the comments. I confess that for some time I was a bit driven by fashion, but you're right, I don't think much about it in the house now, though I'm sure I am somewhat under the influence. What's nice is that home fashion, like clothes, has become somewhat democratic, and we get to do what we want.

Ruth said...

♥ Kathy, thank you, I couldn't believe the icicles on the hydrangea a couple years ago when I took that photo. Preserving flowers in books is a beautiful, nostalgic activity, connecting us with generations of others who love that way of bookmarking a page.

Ruth said...

Dutchbaby, you could have gone on twice as long and kept me happy. You know how I love flowers through your eyes. If you ever want to borrow our blue-green barn for your flower arrangements, just give a holler! :)

You've intrigued me with what you wrote about your mother and you in the sixties and the Summer of Love. Stories, stories (please)!

Of course you know Carolyne Roehm! I think I must have ten of her books. I used to spend so much time with them, and creating my own arrangements. That was before blogging. :)

I'm glad to hear that the Dutch have shared their expertise with the world about flowers.

I'm looking forward to more of your photos as a result of your class (and otherwise). I'm glad you liked mine.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Sandy! They are from a few different years here.

Ruth said...

Pauline, after my walk with you through nature this morning at Writing Out the Words, I know what you say is true. I loved ever written-out word, and the vision of those natural settings, especially the bittersweet.

Thank you for your kind comment.

Ruth said...

Oliag, we are sisters of a generation. And we are queen-sisters of the slow and needing to speed up. :) My wedding flowers were dried as well, though my bouquet, made by my mother-in-law, was silk flowers.

I wonder if you got the greens for your header wreath at your place ...

Ruth said...

Susie, I hope I see your five acres some day. I've seen them in photos of course. You do a beautiful job sculpting the place, and with an occasional chicken out wandering, it is so picturesque in my mind.

I have the flowers Don gave me for my birthday still standing in their cachepot in the living room. I haven't dusted them yet. :)

Thank you for your kind words, always.

Ruth said...

Barb, your thoughts were also on my mind as I wrote and posted this. I wish that more people would appreciate the beauty of the aging and dried up kind. :)

Ruth said...

Dusti, my friend. They should have put you in charge of the heiroglyphics, state secrets, and any number of mysteries.

:)

Ruth said...

Letty, those are my favorites too. Thank you.

Your comment got me to thinking about Christmas in spring, and how it was like that when we lived in Pasadena too.

Ruth said...

Thanks so much, Montag. "Fresh" is very good.

Ruth said...

Boots, no, I didn't know, but it does not surprise me, given the culture of plants there. It's good that Astrid can tend her indoor garden, in the absence of an outdoor one.

You are a good memory keeper, finding meaning in so many deep ways. Those preserved flowers keep giving you life for years, my dear.

Thank you, isn't that hydrangea chandelier something?

Ruth said...

Hola, Dsole, y gracias!

Deslilas said...

1967 a été une très belle année pour la musique pop.

Ruth said...

Daniel, oui, beaucoup!

"Never My Love"

"Brown Eyed Girl"

"Georgy Girl"

"To Sir With Love"

"Somethin' Stupid"

"Ode to Billie Joe"

"The Letter"

"Can't Take My Eyes Off You"

This is fun, shall I go on?

http://www.musicoutfitters.com/topsongs/1967.htm

Terresa said...

A gorgeous sequence of pictures and thoughts here. I, too, was a fan of dried flowers, I used to collect them in vases around my apartment while still in college and press fresh flowers into books to preserve them.

Nowadays, I prefer potted plants as gifts, they last longer.

Ruth said...

Hello, Terresa, in Edinburgh, I think. Wonderful city, but cold! Our apartment was FREEZING in November. I used to take a hot bath just to warm up.

Yes, potted plants are just the thing. If you can keep them alive, longer. Something I seem to be less and less able to do.

*jean* said...

well, i don't know how i missed this stunning post and i, like you, adore the transition my hydrangeas undergo each season...i am amazed by the heartiness of this plant and it is one of my all-time favorites and it, like you, is a winter soul, taking it's beauty with it to whatever the season...your winter photos are breathtaking...i love the celebration of winter i see in your life...xo from minnesota

C.M. Jackson said...

I dried roses, lavender and hydrangea for years --then I read a book about feng shui and it said that fake or dried flowers were a 'no-no'--well, fake I agree but dried flowers? I moved and the problem was solved--small yard and no room for a flower garden--I do let my front garden shine in all its seasonal glory --splitting and pruning perennials in the spring --thanks for bringing back a sweet memory..

deb said...

I love how you invoke such an openness , such conversations . It says much about you Ruth.


The first thing that came to mind is that hydrangeas = bliss. I dry them and use them in my outdoor urn at Christmas with greens and silver balls and magnolia leaves.

I am fond of fresh flowers, but agree with you on the "waste" factor. I always buy white tulips for our wedding anniversary though. I had them as my bouquet, and it was right at the beginning of fresh flowers becoming all the rage , and I was in an area where this was still unheard of . Needless to say they weren't properly prepared and wilted so quickly. But still.

The photos are stunning as always. And I spent some time on Don's blog just now as well, so feel like I had a nice visit to your property. It certainly must be a winter wonderland. Plowing and shoveling aside :).

oh.. I remember when Martha Stewart was promoting all things fresh flowers, and I went and bought floral foam, and vases from Ikea, and little pruners...

and ( forgive me? )
when I had my own garden maintenance business, it bothered me so much to cut back so many of the perennials and shrubs etc that I knew would not only look beautiful during the fall and winter, but provide food, and shelter for birds etc. Having said that, I was the same way before. I am always learning I hope.