Tuesday, June 1, 2010


One of my artists is an elderly gentleman who lives in Canada. I have spoken to him once and met him once, but we email every so often. He is an absolutely charming and delightful correspondent. As he slows down his physical world becomes smaller but I suspect he reaches out to more people, like myself, to stay engaged and pertinent in the world of the mind.

Also like myself, he is a gardener and enjoys watching his plants and flowers move through their cycles. Yesterday he wrote to me that "despite being a potter who should enjoy bringing in flowers to fill my vases I prefer to enjoy them outside. The only culture that knows how to bring flowers inside are the Japanese."

I have always been miserly about bringing flowers into my house so this statement made a lot of sense. My boyfriend is a bit of a bouquet fiend. I always claim to not have enough to share with his vases. I realize that my artist/correspondent has hit upon the true reason. Flowers are never as alluring as when found in their native habitat- springing naturally from their clumps, stems, whorls, branches & vines. In nature they are spaced ever so perfectly, whether that is symmetrically or randomly. They face in the appropriate direction- out, so as to catch the most light or the attentions of a pollinator. There is a balance of foliage to blossom that seems right.

I have also worked hard in my garden to position them next to the perfect backdrop or complimentary plant- orange poppies next to a blue spruce, exuberant Rudibeckia next to severely upright Karl Forester Miscanthus, silver Lamb's Ear interspersed with the dainty blossoms of Grape Hyacinth. How could a bouquet compete with that?

THAT being said, I have always felt the most successful bouquets were mostly fillers and greens to set off a few blossoms. Or- the exquisite placement of a single flower in an Ikebana vase.

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