Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"Beauty" for Yesterday...

Flowers from my garden. All are native perennials.

"The garden is full of sweet peas, a tangle of magenta, lilac, white and purple-edged blooms. They look as pretty as a picture in a cream-colored jug. I would never, ever arrange flowers for the table-- in fact I sometimes think there should be a law against it-- but I do occasionally plonk a bunch unceremoniously in a vase if someone is coming. It is not just a 'guy thing', it is a question of aesthetics. There is nothing pleasing to my eye about a mixture of flowers contorted and contrived into a formal display. But then, I feel much the same about food." ~Nigel Slater in The Kitchen Diaries

As much as I enjoy and appreciate pretty, artfully arrranged, flowers, I am with Nigel on this one, at least in part. I am an "unceremonious plonker" of flowers in containers. I move them around just a little bit to make them into a nice-enough arrangement, but mostly the flowers really are "plonked" in the jar. But, of course, we can stretch out and enjoy this gathering and arranging flowers for as long as we want, if we're so inclined...

Early in the morning, I went outside with a pair of scissors in my hand. I love being outside in the early morning whether I'm cutting flowers or not. The air and light feel different to me than at any other time of day. It feels cool, fresh, and clean. The sky is bluer, the trees are greener, everything is more vivid. The only sounds are sweet ones, like the singing of birds and the buzzing of bees, against a still and quiet backdrop. The early morning feels like grace and hope. It's my favorite time of day to be outside.

And because of this, I got sidetracked, distracted, looking at this and that, deadheading flowers because I noticed it needed doing, gazing across the meadow, letting the dog out of the kennel. But I digress...

I walked around the house, choosing flowers and cutting them as I went. My flower beds look a little bit more raggedy and less interesting than usual this year, but there are still plenty of flowers to be cut and brought inside, and I'll happily keep plonking flowers in a jar until they're gone.

(I have to say I'm with Nigel on food, too. Great ingredients and simple preparation make a lovely meal.)

What have you done lately to bring beauty into your life?