Bonnie, do you recognize this vase? I bought it a couple of weeks ago at your church’s Attic Treasures tag sale for 25 cents! Despite its few little chips, which you can’t see when it is fulfilling its destiny, it is now my new treasure and it has found a new permanent home. I love it.
I have had two flower arrangements in it since then. Flowers are very scarce this time of year, but it is amazing what you can find when you look.
What you see here are rose hips that I cut off some wild roses in the woods. These are a nice long-term arrangement as they will dry and still retain their color, only getting a little darker.
The first arrangement I had used some small purple flowers I found along the road as I was jogging. They actually lasted over a week — hardy little souls.
April 8, 2012 — The island on Norris Lake that has Day Marker 23 is awash with color! Yellow flowers all along the shoreline and into the water surround the island, which is still accessible via a land bridge that has not been covered yet with water.
Jim and I like to walk around the island, it takes about 1.5 hours. The going is easy until you get to the NE side which has a steeper shoreline. Sometimes we detour around this section by going inland. This trip, we were overcome by the beauty of these flowers on the S and SE shores where the shoreline has more soil. I immediately thought of Dorothy of the Wizard of OZ emerging from the dark forest and walking into the field of poppies. You simply must experience walking into the center of this field of flowers and seeing nothing but yellow glow everywhere.
I picked a handful of the flowers and put them in a bucket of water when I got home. They quickly perked up and lasted for several days.
I planted some hollyhock seeds on our Sharps Chapel property last summer, but nothing came up. It was awfully dry when I scattered the seeds, so I am not terribly surprised. But, I did discover one lone hollyhock plant in one of the spots this January. There is hope!
Hollyhocks are biennials (flower on the 2nd year then die), but they easily reseed themselves, so once I get them established, I should be rewarded year-after-year.
I love hollyhocks. They are such a simple, old-fashioned flower. Their tall stems tower over everything else and are so pretty in their natural clusters set against a rustic old barn. Unfortunately, I hardly see them at all any more in my friends’ gardens. Now-a-days, you can get double petals, but I prefer the original single petals.
I fondly remember having hollyhock flowers on the farm where I grew up. They grew along the barn walls. My mother, who was a dress designer before she married my father, showed me how to make Hollyhock Dolls. I can’t remember exactly how we made them — only that we used a wooden clothes pin. I was hoping to relearn how to do it through research on the internet. I have not found the exact same way, but below are some nice alternatives. If you know of any other variations, please let me know and I’ll add them here.
Hollyhock Doll with Bud Head
We never added a head like this, but it is a great idea. So simple. Instead, we drew one on the clothespin.
Using Flowers to Make Fairies
These are lovely! Be sure to watch the end for the grand finale “fashion show” of variations. She is quite the little designer. Very impressive.
Since moving down to Sharps Chapel, we find that we literally spend most of our time outside. The key is to have a wide porch on several sides of your home so you can move to wherever the shade is. We enjoy breakfast on one side of the house and dinner on the other.Around July 4th, we threw our first dinner party and of course, it was on the porch. I collect retro tablecloths from the 50′s (you can pick them up for $10 – $15 each at flea markets) and I chose my favorite one in pink and white with green chickens. I layered it on top of another one to get full coverage of the rectangular table. The paper napkins were a bright fuschia (from IKEA) and these went well with my brown plates (also from IKEA).My centerpiece was an arrangement of three green glass bottles, of three different shapes and sizes, filled with wildflowers from the field.
I really enjoyed taking my comtainer of water and going out to collect the flowers. There was such variety! I gathered Queen Anne’s Lace, Chicory, Black-Eyed Susans, Trumpet Honesuckle, a little daisy-like flower, and purple clover.
I set up a little workstation outside on our stone wall and simply arranged them very casually in a variety of containers. I had more than enough for the table and several other places indoors.
The weather was so hot that I was not sure how the flowers would hold up. What surprised me most was that the Queen Anne’s Lace did wonderfully – lasting for days. The blue chicory – that you see growing along the side of the road, did not. It seems to have a one-day bloom. All the other flowers did well also.
It is easy to forget that the simplest things in life can bring the most pleasure. Next time you get ready for a dinner, be sure to take a few minutes to slow down and cut the roses.