Playing with Flowers

by Sandy Swegel

Even though I don’t have a cutting garden, I love to bring flowers into the house, especially delicate fragile ones that can disappear in a formal arrangement.  This morning on a walk through an abandoned lot, I saw some pretty blue flax.  I snipped them and a few lacy poppies that will only last the day, accompanied by a beautiful yellow salsify weed flower.  In a tall skinny vase that holds the weak stems up, this looks sweet and restful in the window over my kitchen sink and reminds me all day of the peace of the early morning walk.

It’s peony season here, and I adore a peony floating in some water.  I took one somewhat spent peony and floated it in an old circa 1960s blue glass ashtray.  I set it on the corner of my desk, to distract me from too much internet browsing.

Floating flowers is a favorite activity of mine and the many inexpensive hor d’ oeuvres serving plates Crate and Barrel sells.  Tiny shrub roses float along the curving ridges of the platter and make a beautiful dinner table centerpiece.  Sometimes I put in a floating candle or two amid the blossoms.

If all the rose blossoms are spent, I can do as a neighbor does: gather them up and put them in water bowls each day on both sides of the steps up her entryway. It gives a calm Zen-like presence to her door and brings a smile to the guests and the postman.

Finally, I return to my Southern roots where we always put flowers out in the “guest” bathroom or a tiny vase in the guest bedroom if someone was coming to visit.  Tall shot glasses sturdily hold a tiny rose bouquet.  These little delicacies of nature remind our guests how special we think they are.

Nature puts such beauty in our path in Summer.  How can we resist playing with all those flowers and bringing them indoors to visit with us?

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