When I started my blog, I wanted it to be about all of my favorite things, but because my cookbook, Real Food for Real People (available on Amazon), was launching I naturally wrote mostly about kids and food. Now that the book has been out for a while, I would like to write about other topics close to my heart. I love food, kids, flowers and black dogs. I also love white cotton sheets, good books and wine (more on these topics later). Today, I would like to focus on improving our lives with flowers.
Nothing lifts the spirits like beautiful flowers. It’s easy to stop and smell the flowers when you are cutting them and putting them in fresh water. I love a home filled with flowers. A close friend of mine taught me to arrange flowers and it’s not difficult. I use whatever I can find in my backyard. A vase full of lemon branches are also lovely and fragrant. Clip the stems, start with the longest in the middle and work your way around the vase.
Fresh flowers are such a small thing, but they make an enormous difference when you walk into a home. I do a large arrangement for my kitchen table, which is the center point of my house and arrangements for my bedroom and each of my daughters bedrooms.
If you do this often enough it makes sense to grow as many cutting flowers as possible. Heirloom roses and bulbs are especially easy to grow (anywhere in the country) and make glorious arrangements. They also make a nice hostess gift. Jars and inexpensive vases can be collected for this purpose.
I planted these from a bag of mixed daffodils bought at my local hardware store. I planted them in the fall and they came up like little presents in the spring. I avoided the traditional yellow daffodils in favor of these. Nothing could have been easier and it was miraculous to watch them pop up in different places around my backyard. I had so many flowers I was able to give them to friends. These are the little vases I made for my daughters below.
I purchased several bushes about five years ago, and even though I don’t have a ton of sun, they give me flowers for several months in the spring and early summer. What a blessing to have these all over my house. Because they are so gorgeous, and also smell like heaven, you can stuff them in a mason jar and make a statement. I used to feed them, but these just grow with little help other than a container of live ladybugs. After blooming I cut them back and then cut them again in February after the last threat of frost.
I inherited these Giant Allium flowers when I moved into this house a decade ago. They grow without any type of assistance and are gorgeous in a large vase with the hydrangeas that I’ve planted along the way. Hydrangeas do require some tender loving care. I put my coffee grounds on them to make them very purple (like these) and keep them well watered and out of the hot sun.
I will post more as the seasons progress. Happy summer.