On flowers and friends

I have friends and flowers, flowers who are friends and friends who are flowers. There is no point, I find, in making hard and fast rules between humans and nature.

Thank you to friend/flower H, who delivered me swanrivergirl friendly cake when she knew I was not feeling totally well.  H is one of a number of thoughtful, intelligent women I know for whom traditional careers are palling, and who seek ways of making a living that are both personally fulfilling and genuinely useful.  The chocolate mousse cake is an experiment of hers in a business idea. If the rest of her recipes are as good I think she’s onto a winner.  I saw many similar folk at the market this morning, selling the fruits of their creativity and hard work.  I finished up my shopping with two bunches of cornflowers from a local grower.  

When I grew up in Perth I don’t remember my family or my neighbours ever growing cornflowers.  My affection for them dates from the film adaptation of E.M. Forster’s book A Room With A View, from the early nineties.  (Or possibly the late eighties…).   Mr Emerson and his son George surprise the two spinster sisters, the Misses Allan, who are staying at the same pensione in Florence by bringing them wild cornflowers.

Cornflowers are field flowers, with a humble and at same time startling beauty.  I have mine unadorned with any greenery, in total contradiction to what I learnt at flower arranging workshop I went to a few weeks ago.  There, I learnt the principles of arranging an arrangement.  You know.  The kind of large bunch we usually reserve for significant events like birthdays, death days and other major milestones like graduations, retirements and of course weddings.  

I did the workshop because being a florist has been on the list of possible careers.  I was putting my toe in the water and found it to my liking.  It would, I think, deeply satisfy my right brain tendencies. My left brain isn’t convinced, threatening intellectual boredom and financial ruin.  It admonishes me that making a living from what is sadly an expensive luxury is a truly bad idea.My left brain maybe right.  But my heart does hold dear memories of flowers, big and small, that have lightened my life; my wedding bouquet, the flowers that adorned my parents’ coffins and small, somewhat worse for wear posies picked for me by small children.  All of them are dear to me,along with all the in situ flowers that I’ve met.  The freesias in my grandparents garden.  Swathes of kangaroo paws out at the block at Southern River.  My first sighting of jade vine in Cairns.  The first rugosa rose I ever smelt in mountainous Massachusetts…and so on.  My memories are garlanded in flowers.  Long may it be so.


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