As many of you know, our Cape Cod cottage was featured in Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home. Today, the sublime blog featured even more images and outtakes from the book, as part of their cottage week. Here are some of my favorites by New Zealand photographer Matthew Williams. See Remodelista for more.
I think this is the second (or is it the third?) time I’ve entitled a post about Solvi thus. She’s always watching, always taking in.
Yesterday Solvi picked the sweetest posie featuring, of course, grass. Excellent, expressive, delicate swaths of it. To these sweeping tendrils she added what for a six-year-old girl is the most restrained application of color: one purple spear of Veronica and a single pink phlox. She also selected, as an integral part of her arrangement, the accompanying rock. “You need to put this by the vase, Mom.”
See, chip off the ole block.
more experiments with flowers and grass…
on my dining table with: lavender, Russian sage, Veronica, sweet pea, grape vine, grasses, and other weeds
While beaching it the other day, Oliver, Solvi and I spent a good hour conjuring a sea dragon from mussel shells, rocks, and seaweed. Then Oliver sketched the following characterization in the sand.
Enormous sea serpent, known for its friendly attitude and poisonous tail.
Most fearsome dragon in the ocean.”
It looks small in pictures, but it was actually about 6 feet long.
Those of us who are lucky
(or perhaps just really still)
may glimpse the faerie queen.
Amongst the flower bed,
a wee posie,
fortune conveyed by a tiny friend.
A quick smile,
(She has seen you too.)
Then with a flit,
she’s off again.
More wonders to behold.
The more time I spend in my cottage the more “decorative objects” I take away. Am I getting more minimal? In a way, but really what I’m doing is leaving room for the ephemeral – cut flowers, which, week by week mark the progress of the season, reflect my changing mood.
So far this summer, all of my arrangements have included grass.
While partaking in a time-honored family tradition of harvesting fresh flowers preferably some of which are not your own, I ventured across the road to Gramma’s garden. It still hosts her favorite blooms, but since her death it has gone to seed a bit, allowing tall grasses to spring up amongst the plants. I liked the way they looked. So I included some in my arrangement.
To everyone else these weeds add texture, height, and “visual interest” to my bouquets. But to me, while the flowers remind me of Gramma’s life, the grass acknowledges her death. And for some reason that seems important right now.
Remember Sheila’s “installation with razor clams” on her living room shelf? This week, I too got creative with these elongated shellfish, when, inspired by the porcelain works at Parma Lilac, I created a razor clam (or Atlantic Jackknife Clam to be more precise) lamp shade. See Gardenista for a complete tutorial.
Uncle Mon shows off the haul from one walk on the beach.
bleaching razor clams on the deck
supplies for the lamp
the base: a pendant from Hammers and Heels
my finished lamp
Donned in their souvenirs from my recent trip to Colonial Williamsburg, the kids do their best imitation of Revolutionary-era children.
I don’t know when this became a flower blog, but there it is. Some day I’ll get back to design, but right now I find myself drawn to plants – their architecture as much as their blooms. I appreciate the way in which the same flower can appear wholly different when grouped in an abundant bouquet or as a single stem, or when out in the garden or inside the home. It seems rather human of them, morphing their personalities thus.
But most especially, I love watching flowers respond to the changing sun throughout the day. Where we humans like to flirt with the noir, flowers prefer to explore the complexities that exist in the light. In the morning they seem refreshed by the cool slanting rays on their cheerful faces, while in the evening the warm backlit glow from setting sun seems to set their insides aflame.
Unlike a building or a piece of furniture which stands immobile as the environment reacts upon it, the conversation between flowers and their setting is a two-way street. They respond. They move. They are alive. And yet they are ephemeral. For me it feels like a gift to capture their portraits before they fade. To be party to their slow dance, but for a moment in time.
Here then is a study of bridal wreath now in bloom in my yard: as two single stems and a boisterous bouquet.
There are many flowers that remind me of my Grandmother Sylvia. Langorus wisteria whose cascading blooms and entwining vines each summer veiled the front porch in a dreamlike canopy. The reclusive Mayflower, modest of bloom but brazen of scent, pilfered from under the power lines in order to perfume Gramma’s bedroom. The solitary lady slipper, also nicked in the wild, this time by Grampa’s pocketknife. And that bumptious old friend, Dorothy Perkins, bedecked for summer in the same unnatural shade of pink as Gramma Sylvia’s lipstick.
In fact, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that there are few flowers that do not remind me of Grandma Sylvia. But lilacs were her favorite.
To see my entire homage to Gramma’s favorite flower, visit Lilac Love: A Guide to Spring’s Best-Loved Flower on Gardenista.